Man Accused Of Raping, Murdering Neighbor

June 6th, 2011 by Staff

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. — When police began searching for a woman feared missing early Friday night, they quickly made a gruesome discovery in her neighbor’s apartment: the 44-year-old woman’s body was found inside a large box in the middle of the living room.

Jeffrey Tilton, 30, kidnapped, raped and killed Marie M. Alers, police said. Alers lived just a floor above Tilton at the Legends Apartment Homes in Winter Springs.

According to Winter Springs police detectives, the investigation began when Alers’ boyfriend, Joel Kean, called 911 to report that he could not find his girlfriend when he went to pick her up.

He noticed all her stuff—a gym bag, sunglasses, keys and earrings—strewn about in front of the suspect’s unit. Police came to the scene and questioned Tilton. Then, they saw the victim’s body inside a box in his living room.

The arrest report indicates Tilton grabbed Alers, dragged her into his apartment, raped her and killed her. Police say they never found a murder weapon. They believe he used his hands, feet or fists to kill her, according to the report. Tilton had scratches on his right cheek because of the struggle, police said.

“It makes me not as feel as safe as I did. One of the reasons I moved here was to feel safe,” said neighbor Jackie Mazurowski.

Kean described his girlfriend as a strong, wonderful person. He said she grew up in Mexico City, Mexico, and still has family there. he had been living at Legends Apartments for a few months, he said.

Tilton, who is engaged to be married, does not have a criminal record. Attempts to reach his fiancé by Facebook were unsuccessful.
Police say the relationship between the victim and suspect, if any, is not known.

Tilton is being held at the Seminole County jail on no bond. He confessed to the murder, but gave no reason why he did it, according to police.

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