ORLANDO, Fla. – A manhunt is on after two young children, who were wandering alone Friday in the Pine Hills area, led a woman to a home where she discovered a 41-year-old woman dead inside the house, according
to Orange County Sheriff's Office officials.
Deputies said the toddlers, ages 2 and 3, were found walking on Pine Hills Road around noon Friday and were able to lead the passer-by who found them to a vacant house at 3422 Pipes O the Glen Way, located west of John Young Parkway and north of Silver Star Road.
"They were wandering sort of aimlessly alone, and she asked them why they were wandering alone," Orange County Sheriff's Office public information officer Jeff Williamson said. “The good
Samaritan asked the children where (they) lived. The children were smart enough to bring them back to this location.”
The good Samaritan found the victim's body inside the home not far from the front door and called 911, deputies said.
Williamson said the home has no power or water right now and was empty. He said it appears that the woman, who was identified as Denise Hayls, 41, may have been staying there illegally. Detectives said the toddlers are Hayls' grandchildren.
Detectives have identified the suspect as the victim's boyfriend, Bobby Lee Story, 52, saying that the couple has a history of domestic violence.
"Mr. Story is a suspect in this crime. There is previous domestic violence between Mr. Story and Ms. Hayls and he is a suspect in this crime," Williamson said. "We're asking anyone with information of his whereabouts or his timeline or time frame to give the Orange County Sheriff's (Office) a call."
It's unclear how long the children were actually on their own.
"The toddlers are with Florida Department of Children and Families child protective services, and are doing OK," Williamson said.
Detectives have not released how the victim died or how long she was inside the house.
There's a $5,000 reward for anyone with information about the crime. Call Crimeline at 800-423-8477.