CASSELBERRY, Fla. — A 32-year-old Tallahassee man has been identified as the suspect in a home invasion, rape and kidnapping that happened Saturday evening at an apartment complex, Casselberry police Chief Larry Krantz said Wednesday afternoon during a news conference.
Benjamin Victor Hovan, who remains at large, was identified through fingerprints discovered at an apartment and in a stolen car that was found abandoned Tuesday, Krantz said.
The announcement was made hours after police released a composite sketch of the man who they said barged into an apartment with a knife and raped a 24-year-old woman before kidnapping her and another 24-year-old woman.
At about 8 p.m. Saturday, the women opened the door for someone they thought was a deliveryman at the Stonecastle apartments near Semoran Boulevard and Howell Branch Road, Casselberry police Cmdr. William Nas said.
"The suspect sexually battered one of the victims and then kidnapped both victims by forcing them into a vehicle owned by one of the victims," Nas said. "The suspect then drove the victims to a Publix in Maitland, where he ordered one to get money out of the ATM."
One of the victims asked a Publix employee to call 911, and Maitland police officers met up with the women, but the man had already driven away in the stolen car, which hasn't been found, Nas said.
Police said Tuesday that the stolen car, a silver 2006 Toyota Matrix, was found abandoned in a parking lot near North Orlando Avenue and Versailles Drive.
The victims, who are friends, said they noticed the man watching them unload things from a car before he knocked on the front door, investigators said.
Hovan's relatives said he vanished about a week ago, Krantz said. He could have mental health issues, such as schizophrenia and anxiety, he said.
It's unknown why Hovan was in Central Florida or if he has ties to the region, Krantz said. He could have ties to South Florida, but that's uncertain, he said.
Police said they're operating under the belief that Hovan remains in the area.
Investigators said surveillance footage showed Hovan peering through a window in an unrelated incident. He has been previously arrested for driving under the influence, police said.
Hovan is 6 feet tall and weighs 155 pounds. Police said he has a blue 1998 Ford Ranger, bearing Florida tag GAA F69, but it's unknown if he's driving it.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office and the United States Marshals Service are assisting with the manhunt.
Hovan is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 911.
Cox Media Group