Charged Seminole Heights killer stayed with friend and relatives as murders occurred
New search warrants linked to the accused Seminole Heights serial killer reveal details of his fate, use of social media, contacts with the ATF and the deaths of the victims.
News Channel 8 involved lawyers, fought for documents, and led the effort to have more than 100 pages of public documents released.
A judge ordered disclosure of the documents by Friday, April 27.
Family and friends:
Howell Donaldson, III was back in court this week with his mental condition in question.
Her parents, Howell Donaldson Jr. and Rosita Donaldson, attended the hearing. They are currently under house arrest for refusing to speak with prosecutors about their son.
The News Channel 8 team discovered that Donaldson was at home almost 100 times between October and November, when the four murders took place.
The search warrants indicate that Donaldson lived with his parents, but also with a friend who lived on West Shore Boulevard, about 20 minutes from Seminole Heights.
This friend told MPs that Donaldson left Ronnie Felton early in the morning, the fourth victim was killed.
Investigators believe Donaldson returned to his friend’s house around 30 minutes after Felton was allegedly shot, but he was locked out.
The friend says Donaldson tried to reach her multiple times by calling and using FaceTime.
MPs have also placed him at the neighbor’s house 14 times since November 11 after tracking his cell phone.
I-Phone, web searches, social networks:
The investigator found evidence showing that Donaldson searched for “the Seminole Heights killer” on his iPhone after the first three victims were found dead.
He also looked for thefts on the same day investigators said he handed over a gun to McDonalds in Ybor City just before his arrest in late November.
Web usage shows that Donaldson was very active on SnapChat between December 2016 and November 2017.
The app’s GPS technology brings him closer to the murder of Benjamin Mitchell, the first victim.
Donaldson’s phone was also questioned in the Seminole Heights area the day before and after buying a gun two days before Mitchell’s murder.
Donaldson denies ever having been to Seminole Heights.
News Channel 8 is aware of warrants for an adult entertainment website called CamSoda.
The documents on one website appear to contain a substantial amount of information relating to the dates and times of some of the murders.
The name of the website has been removed from the warrants.
Search warrants show that after Anthony Naiboa, the third victim was killed. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives got involved in tracking down leads.
Investigators broke records at Shooters World; the place where they later learned that Donaldson had purchased a gun and ammunition.
An ATF agent texted Donaldson requesting a reminder about his weapon, but he never responded, according to the search warrant.
JP Morgan Chase Bank Communication:
Donaldson received an incoming call from a phone number associated with bank JP Morgan Chase moments before Monica Hoffa, the second victim was shot, according to the warrant.
Documents also show Donaldson had over 300 calls / communications associated with JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Records show that most calls were received by Donaldson.
Reports show Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa and Ronnie Felton all appear to have been shot at close range. All but one were shot several times.