WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – They call him the ‘face biting killer’.
Austin Harrouff, 21, remains in a South Florida jail awaiting trial for a double murder.
Harrouff is accused of fatally stabbing John Stevens and his wife Michelle inside the garage of their Tequesta home on August 15th, 2016. When Martin Co. Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found Harrouff biting Stevens’ face and chewing on the flesh.
Recently released videotaped interviews with Harrouff’s parents show them trying to make sense of what happened.
In a number of interviews, Harrouff’s parents have detailed the last interactions they had with their son before his arrest. Hours before the crime, Austin’s mother Mina saw him holding something in her kitchen.
“A container of Wesson Oil and he’s staring out the window like he’s about to drink it. And I just turned and said that’s not a drink and I grabbed it from him,” said Mina Harrouff.
The night of the murders, Austin had gone to his mother’s Jupiter home after leaving a nearby Duffy’s restaurant following a confrontation with his father. She then drove him back to Duffy’s.
“So I grab him by the collar and say ‘what the hell are you doing?’ He goes (raises a fist) and my girlfriend goes ‘Austin don’t.’ He looks at my girlfriend embarrassed and then leaves,” recalled Austin’s father Wade Harrouff.
Austin Harrouff then walked about four miles to the Stevens home where the attack happened.
Wade Harrouff said his son was shy when he was younger and came out of shell thanks to sports.
“Became good football player, weightlifter, and everything. And fit in you know,” said Wade Harrouff.
Wade Harrouff said mental illness runs in the family.
Wade Harrouff recalled what happened on an August day two summers ago when he, Austin, and some of Austin’s friends went for a walk in the woods and spotted two empty tortoise shells along the trail.
“He goes stop everybody. Gets his knife and says ‘stay behind me I feel something is going to happen here.’ And I said, ‘Put the damn thing back up, what’s wrong with you?’ And he did,” said Wade.
Mina Harrouff recalled a conversation she had a friend of Austin.
“Austin told him the devil talked to him 6 months ago, but they just played it off,” she said.
Mina Harrouff added that Austin’s girlfriend had been growing concerned about his recent behavior.
“She texted me. Call someone, have him talk to somebody. She said he ran a u-turn red light and said ‘I’m invincible’,” recalled Mina.
Both Wade and Mina Harrouff talked about getting Austin counseling.
Austin Harrouff’s attorneys plan to pursue an insanity defense.