As Austin Harrouff stabilizes in a Palm Beach County hospital, the public may soon get answers as to why the 19-year-old allegedly murdered two strangers, stabbed another, and proceeded to eat the dead man's face as police repeatedly tasered him.
Behind all the bizarre headlines surrounding the case, though, are two tragic deaths. For Miamians, the murders hit close to home. One of the victims, Michelle Mishcon Stevens, was the daughter of former North Miami Beach Mayor Jeff Mishcon.
According to the Sun Sentinel, the Mishcons have dealt with more tragedy than one family should have to bear. In 1997, Mishcon's wife, Patricia, died at 53, two days after suffering an unexpected heart attack, leaving behind five children. A sports field was named in her honor.
"It couldn't have been more sudden," the ex-mayor told the paper. "She was half my life. We were partners in life.''
According to the Miami Herald, Mischon served as mayor for more than 13 years.
Now it appears another Mishcon has died under horrible circumstances.
On Monday, police say, Harrouff stormed angrily out of a Tequesta sports bar — where he'd been dining with his parents — and went wandering down the street. Upon finding Mishcon Stevens and her husband, John Stevens III, 59, sitting in their garage with the door open, Harrouff allegedly attacked them, stabbing the pair with what cops believe was a switchblade.
After a neighbor intervened, Harrouff allegedly stabbed him too. That person survived and underwent surgery to close his stab wound yesterday.
When police arrived, they found Harrouff biting chunks out of John Stevens' face and making "animal-like noises." The teen didn't budge even after being tasered. A police dog couldn't get him to move either. Three officers ultimately pulled Harrouff off the man.
Harrouff had been showing signs of erratic behavior before the attack. According to Palm Beach County's WPBF News, Harrouff's mother, Mina, called police before the attack Monday night and told the cops her son was acting strange. Specifically, she said he was claiming he had "superpowers" and "was here to protect people."
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Though Jeff Mishcon has yet to weigh in on the attack, other Miami officials have been started sending him their condolences.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Mishcon worked in finance in Boca Raton. Her husband, John, was the son of a former pro baseball player, and the pair had recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary.