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Arrest made after woman's body found floating in Halifax River

Thomas Anthony Prins faces charge of first-degree murder in death of Crystal Pifer

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – A 42-year-old man was indicted Monday in the death of a woman whose body was found floating in the Halifax River in Volusia County.

Thomas Anthony Prins, 42, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Crystal Pifer, 28, of Daytona Beach.

Prins was taken into custody Tuesday in Volusia County and will be booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on a no-bond warrant, officials said.

"Because this is an ongoing case, this office will have no further comment at this time," the state attorney's office said in a news release.

Pifer's body was found in August by a boater near the Dunlawton bridge. Pifer's cause of death is not known.

Tears of relief as the Campagnuolo family said it was the first step to justice for their daughter.

"He just ruined our lives," said Fred Campagnuolo, Pifer's father.

The family watched as her boyfriend, Prins stood before a judge on Wednesday, charged with first degree murder. Prins even looked back at the family as he left the courtroom.

"He was a nice a guy. Let him trim my trees, had him over for dinner, we went and took him to Disney and stuff like that," said Campagnuolo.

Authorities said they were investigating whether Pifer's death was related to a disturbance call from the night before at the South Daytona ramp. Police said Pifer jumped off Prins' boat onto another man's boat for help, claiming Prins was beating on her. The man called 911, but police said Pifer jumped back into Prins' boat before help arrived and was last seen swimming toward shore.

"After the fact, people told us about domestic abuse between the two of them but no one has said anything until she had passed, and I wish people would have spoken up," said Laurie Campagnuolo, mother.

The family said they still don't know exactly how Pifer died but knows they want her attacker to be punished.

 "I wish he'd get what he gave her back. I wish it was something like that. He beat up on a 28-year-old girl. He beat her to death," said Fred Campagnuolo.

The State Attorney's Office said it is still gathering evidence in this case.


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