Orange County

Discarded beer cans lead to arrest in cold case murder at Orange County convenience store

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County deputies said they have caught the man who stabbed a convenience store manager to death 25 years ago.

Detectives said the arrest was made with help from a genealogy database and DNA recovered from beer cans that had been thrown away.

The murder happened inside a Lil’ Champs store along Clarcona Ocoee Road.

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The location is now a Kwik Stop, which the owner said he bought this store many years after the murder.

The new owner said from time-to-time customers will come inside who remember what happened in 1996.

Kenneth Stough Jr. went before an Orange County judge on Wednesday for the murder, which happened 25 years ago in Orlando.

He’s being held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and robbery with a deadly weapon in the stabbing of Terrance Paquette.

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At the time, an armored car service came by to pick up the previous night’s receipts, and noticed the door was locked and noticed a small amount of blood on one of the doors.

According to the arrest affidavit, when deputies arrived, they found Paquette’s body in the men’s bathroom. He had been stabbed 73 times.

Authorities also found blood throughout the store, and a $1,000 cash deposit was missing.

The killer was not identified, and the case was closed in 1997, but reopened in 2003.

In 2019, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) hired a forensic lab to use DNA to help solve the case.

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That analysis led detectives to Stough, who investigators said lived in close proximity to Paquette when he was killed.

Detectives installed a GPS device on Stough’s vehicle on Sept. 14 and watched him throw a bag of beer cans into a public dumpster in Eustis.

Those cans were turned over to the FDLE, and the DNA from one of the cans matched the DNA profile found inside the store in 1996.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is expected to give an update on the case on Thursday.

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Karen Parks

Karen Parks,

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.