MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An arrest has been made in the deaths of two women whose bodies were found in a luxury Miami condominium.
Franklyn Williams, 46, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
The bodies were discovered after Miami police received a call from Homeland Security who told them during an investigation that involved Williams, he spontaneously confessed, according to his arrest report.
When police forced open the door of a thirty-fourth-floor unit at the Paraiso Bay high, rise at 650 Northeast 32nd Street, they found the women’s bodies in a bedroom. Both appeared to have multiple stab wounds.
Williams told investigators that he lives in the unit and that one of the women, 35-year-old Sophia Simpson, had been his girlfriend for the last ten years, according to the police, and the other woman, 27-year-old Gabrella Griffith, lived with them.
Nathan Kakon, who owns a condo at the building on Northeast 32nd Street at 6th Avenue just east of Biscayne Boulevard and right next to Biscayne Bay, said “Thank God it was not someone who broke in and was not somebody trying to murder people randomly.”
Kakon told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I feel sad for the families of the people and those who knew the victims and the victims themselves.”
Some residents of the building said news of the murders had put them on edge. Miami police detectives returned to the building on Thursday.
Condo owner Kariss Badillo said, “It’s an uneasy feeling in the building about what is happening. All the residents are talking about it. Right now my lease is about to be up and makes you question the people who live here and the safety of it.”
Police may have the murder weapon. They say they found a knife in the condo. They do not have a motive at this point but say Williams had been arguing with his girlfriend.
“It’s a little scary, I mean part of the reason we live here is because it’s secure. There’s a lot of security all the time so that’s surprising that that happened,” said Kristina who lives in the building. “I have a daughter and she’s young so I think for several reasons we’re going to be moving out.”
Xiomara Fermin, who lives on the 35th floor, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “This happened on the 34th floor. I heard all sorts of noises on the floor below me and I was riding the elevator to go out and walk the dogs and it stopped on the 34th floor. I saw lots of police there and I even saw two men fighting there. I don’t know if it was connected since it was afterwards. There was also a terrible smell.”
Claudia Eusse, a spokeswoman for The Related Group which developed the building, said nothing like this has ever happened at the building which has been open for just over a year.
Williams is being held without bond after an appearance in court.
He also faces charges in a separate case involving grand theft, using fake id, money laundering and racketeering. Those issues surfaced in court and Williams said he did have a private attorney. He was scheduled to return to court on Friday.
On Wednesday, Eusse told D’Oench, “I work for the developer the Related Group. And this has always been a very safe background. We do background checks on everyone that comes here.”
Kakon said “I heard about the history of this person and I wish we had known. You can never know what can happen in a building anytime in MIami.”
Badillo said “Our security is pretty good so that’s not my concern but what’s a concern is just the fact that he was allowed to live here.”
A woman who answered the phone at the Paraiso Bay office said management was not able to answer questions on Thursday on the issue of background checks for everyone living at the building.