After allegedly killing and dismembering his roommate, a Florida man claims he had taken drastic action because he believed the man to "possibly be the next mass killer that we hear about in the media," police say.
Fort Lauderdale resident Eric Dacosta, 52, is accused of fatally shooting his roommate Paul Stephen Darmetko, 42, according to the Sun-Sentinel, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based News Organization. Dacosta then allegedly disposed of the plastic-wrapped pieces of the corpse in a nearby canal.
Dacosta told police the altercation occurred on October 4 after Darmetko made death threats against him, leading to the alleged killing. Dacosta said he took action by shooting Darmetko in the skull and tying a plastic bag around his head with a belt to contain the bleeding. Then Dacosta dismembered the corpse in his bathtub with a hunting knife. Dacosta claimed he was acting to prevent Darmetko from putting others in danger.
Hunters had discovered Darmetko's body on October 7. A .22 caliber bullet was found inside the skull.
Darmetko and Dacosta had lived together for five months prior to the killing and had known each other for half a decade before that. Dacosta told investigators that Darmetko's cocaine usage and undiagnosed mental illness had been getting increasingly worse, leading to more frequent violent outbursts that included threats against Darmetko's family.
Janine Babich, a business associate of Dartmetko's, did not agree with Dacosta's narrative but did emphasize that Darmetko had been stressed over a divorce.
“I don’t have anything disparaging to say about the young man,” she said to the Sun-Sentinel. "He always appeared to be an easy going fellow. Until the divorce proceedings he was always a customer that paid his bills and stayed up to date.”
Dacosta maintained that Darmetko had been agitated by an upcoming visit from Darmetko's ex-wife, leading to threats against Dacosta's life.
Dacosta surrendered himself to police on October 20.
On November 6, Dacosta was jailed without bond on a charge of premeditated murder, according to the arrest record.
Darmetko's family will hold a private memorial service on November 11, according to NBC29, a Charlottesville, Virginia-based NBC affiliate.
[Photo: Broward County Sheriff's Office]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.