Man sought in fatal attack of elderly Cocoa woman identified

Attacker released from Brevard jail hours before attack, police say

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter

COCOA, Fla. - Cocoa police have identified the man on Monday who is sought in the fatal stabbing of an 81-year-old woman over the weekend--and they say the man had just been released from Brevard County jail 24 hours before.

Police said Marcus Antonio Royal, 33, was released from jail Saturday morning, returned to Cocoa Sunday morning and broke into the North Fiske Boulevard home of Faye Jones, 81, at 11:30 a.m.

Jones was attacked in her home and when someone went to pick her up for church, they believe he interrupted the crime in progress. Police said he, too, was attacked.

Jones was found dead and police said her neighbor had to be airlifted to Holmes Regional Medical Center where he is in critical condition. Police said they believe Jones was a random victim.

Authorities say Royal stole Jones' 2010 Ford Fusion, dark green color with Florida tag N744PU and dumped her personal items on the side of the road 10 miles away from her home.

Police said Royal, a registered sex offender, should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. He may also be in the company of an unknown individual who is driving Jones' vehicle.  Contact Cocoa police or Crimeline if you have any information on Royal's whereabouts.

Royal has a nationwide extradition arrest warrant issued on him for first-degree felony murder, attempted first degree felony murder and burglary with battery.

"It's very sad. They're always going after the older people I don't know why," said Jessica, who lives in the neighborhood. "It's very sad, very sad."

Neighbors like Jessica also don't know who did it and neither do police.

One neighbor who also spoke with Local 6 says the two victims would always carpool to church.

"I never thought it'd be somebody being murdered on a nice sunny Sunday morning," said Paul Springer, reflecting on what happened Sunday morning.

Just about everyone you talk to in this neighborhood knew the two victims.

"She was defenseless," said another. "You could have just took what you wanted without having to harm her. She was fragile and a sweet lady."

Local 6 spoke to fellow church members who say they held a special prayer service Sunday night and are working to help the man and Jones' family.

She spent at least three days a week at her church, Rockledge Church of Christ. Monday, the pastor, Kerry Burkey, said church members were in shock and heartbroken.

"She was a wonderful loving Christian lady, a very faithful Christian," Burkey said.

Burkey told Local 6 that he believes her neighbor is a hero. He came in to check on her when he became part of the crime, attacked. We're told he is in an induced coma.

"She would be the driver she would pickup 3 or 4 or 5 individuals who would come with her Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night," said Burkey.

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