Suspect in killing of Bethune-Cookman students arrested in Miami

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A man accused of killing two Bethune-Cookman University students Thursday was arrested in Miami Friday by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents.

Police said York Bodden, 26, lived in the Carolina Club Apartments, on Carolina Lake Drive, with his girlfriend and another woman and that the two women were trying to evict him.

Investigators said they believe Bodden killed Timesha Carswell, 21, and Diona McDonald, 19, both of whom were from Michigan. Micah Parham was seriously wounded and remains hospitalized.

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"Apparently, he was a roommate or started out as a roommate with the girls and our male victim," said Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood. "Somewhere along the line, there was a dispute about not wanting him to be in there anymore. They tried to refund his first month's rent. He didn't take too kindly to that."

Police said Bodden left the apartment before returning to shoot the women and Parham.

"What he did in that apartment, he basically assassinated the young ladies," Chitwood said. "The young ladies were shot point-blank range. They were head shots. And our male victim in the hospital right now has at least three shots to the face and head area."

Another student, Sidney Washington, tried to wrestle the gun from Bodden, then jumped through a window and escaped the gunfire. He wasn’t injured.

"It's very sad that it happened, but it's not a representation of [what] this university is about," said student Donald Watts. "So I wouldn’t want that to be, like, a misconception."


When police contacted McDonald's father, they learned her mother died of breast cancer several years ago. He is now alone.

"[Her] dad said, 'This is all I had. All I had in life, they took from me,'" Chitwood said.

Bodden, who has a lengthy criminal record, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

"Unfortunately, they befriended an animal. And that's the best term that I can use; that this guy is an animal," Chitwood said. "He's a cold-blooded killer, and he's a career violent criminal."

Both women moved to Daytona Beach from the Detroit area, and both women were members of B-CU's gospel choir.

Bethune-Cookman University released this statement Friday:

"It is with saddened hearts that Bethune-Cookman University announces the loss of two students and the critical injury of a former student. The students were victims of a fatal domestic violence incident that occurred at a privately owned apartment complex in Daytona Beach, Florida early Thursday afternoon. While the campus's Department of Public Safety is working with the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD), it is considered an active investigation and DBPD will release all official information.

"Bethune-Cookman University's first priority is the safety and well-being of the students. We will continue to communicate and educate the B-CU family about domestic violence and general conflict resolution. Our Department of Public Safety is readily available to assist all students who are in need of conflict mediation and security services. In addition, personnel in Counseling Services are available for grief counseling.

"This is a very unfortunate incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the families, loved ones and fellow classmates of these students."