Orange County sheriff launches internal review in triple homicide case

Internal review launched in handling of calls that came into 911 communications center Monday

By Amaka Ubaka, Michelle Dendy - Web Editor

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orange County sheriff has launched an internal review into the handling of two calls that came into the 911 communications center the night three people were killed. One of the calls came from one of the victims.

Thursday, deputies questioned a person of interest in the triple homicide that occurred Monday.

David Emmons, 60, was found in a wooded area near Chickasaw Trail and Curry Ford Road at 10:30 a.m.

Emmons was named a person of interest in the deaths of Richard Button, 65, Todd Lemme, 57, and Deborah Watson, 54. Their bodies were found in the shed in the woods near Curry Ford Road and Excalibur Court.

Emmons was released before 3 p.m. Thursday. Deputies said he was cooperative and provided information and is no longer being sought as a person of interest. However, deputies said Emmons remains an essential part of the investigation.

Emmons has not been charged in the triple homicide. Leonard Lewis, 47, is still being sought as a person of interest.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said it is still awaiting official word from the Medical Examiner's Office, but preliminary information indicates all three of the homicide victims died of their wounds shortly after they were shot.

Upon further review of the two 911 calls that the communications center received on the night of March 17, deputies said it has been determined that one of the calls came from one of the homicide victims.

Sheriff Jerry L. Demings has launched an internal review into the handling of both calls that came into the 911 communications center that night. Deputies said the response by patrol personnel and the subsequent search of the area from the night of March 17 are also under review.

One woman, who didn't want her face shown, told Local 6 two deputies showed up at her home that night searching for a woman who deputies told her made one of those calls before hanging up the phone.

"She said someone had called and said, 'Someone was shot, somebody had been shot,' and it was a female, a young female voice," the woman said. "She said it was made from a cell phone."

The woman said a deputy searched behind her home and at least one other neighbor's home, but it's unclear if deputies searched the barn nearby.

Like many in the quiet community, Caroline Poole wants to know who is responsible for the murders of Button, Lemme and Watson.

"Why? Why, why would someone do that? These people were so harmless, they never bothered anyone," said Poole.

Over the past four years, Poole spoke with Button weekly, bonding over their love of dogs.

"I'm really upset he was one of them," said Poole. "I'm shocked. He was a gentle, caring, compassionate guy."

A friend of Button, Colleen Fitzgerald, has set up a fundraising account online to help pay for funeral expenses for the victims.

Fitzgerald also told Local 6 there will be a vigil Tuesday night at Hospitality Church on Curry Ford Road. It starts at 6:30 p.m.

People who attend are asked to bring a non-perishable food item, which will be donated to Mission Rescue.

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