Friends helped clean up, dispose of evidence after 24-year-old Melbourne man’s slaying, investigators say

Harry William Collins III accused of moving evidence from crime scene

Harry Collins, 31.
Harry Collins, 31. (WKMG 2020)

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A third man has been arrested in connection with the murder of 24-year-old Tyler Moore, who was found dead in a Melbourne home on New Year’s Eve, according to court records.

Harry William Collins III, 31, was arrested Saturday on charges of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and tampering or fabricating evidence, Brevard County jail records show.

The person investigators believe shot Moore, Nicholas Allen McDuffie, 28, was arrested on Jan. 4. McDuffie told authorities he shot and killed Moore in self-defense.

According to the arrest warrant, the victim’s grandmother went to the Melbourne Police Department on Jan. 3 and reported that she believed Moore had been killed and McDuffie was responsible.

[RELATED: Man claiming self-defense after body found in Melbourne facing homicide charge | Body found in Melbourne house, men in truck seen dumping bags in dumpsters, police say]

Police said they went to McDuffie’s home at 2542 Leewood Boulevard and observed a U-Haul moving truck backed up to the house. Officers said they were concerned the U-Haul was being used to remove evidence from the home and requested the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office helicopter to assist in surveilling the truck.

The helicopter crew observed the U-Haul with McDuffie and Victor Cruz, 32, driving through the beachside area and dumping items into several dumpsters along the way, according to the affidavit. Crime Scene Investigators later retrieved the items from the dumpster and one of those items tested positive for blood evidence, according to investigators.

Moore’s body was found rolled up inside a carpet inside the utility room of McDuffie’s home at 2542 Leewood Boulevard, according to the affidavit. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined Moore was shot twice leading to his death.

Investigators said they determined McDuffie shot Moore in front of Cruz and Collins. According to the arrest warrant, Cruz and Collins helped McDuffie clean the crime scene and obtain the moving truck to dispose of evidence. Investigators learned Collins also paid for the truck after borrowing $150 from his father.

Collins told investigators McDuffie threatened him if he did not help clean up and put evidence into garbage bags.

Police said neither Collins or Cruz made any attempt to contact authorities and report Moore’s death.

Left: Victor Cruz Right: Nicholas McDuffie

Cruz is also charged with accessory after the fact, failure to report a death, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. He was arrested Jan. 4 and remains held without bail. His next court date is Feb. 26, jail records show.

McDuffie is charged with failure to report a death, first-degree murder, possession of a weapon or ammo by a convicted felon and tampering with evidence. He remains held without bail and his next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12, according to jail records.

Collins is also held without bail and his next court date is March 10.

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