Father of FSU student suspected in face-biting, slayings says he believes son was poisoned

MARTIN COUNTY — Wade Harrouff told Dr. Phil McGraw in a television interview he believes his son, Austin Harrouff, was poisoned, leading him to be held in intensive care at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach ever since the Aug. 15 slayings he is accused of.

“He had an inflamed esophagus and stomach, his metabolites were out of whack and he almost died,” Wade Harrouff said. “The biggest question is where did the poisoning come from? How did he get poisoned?”

The “Dr. Phil” episode, which was taped in August, aired Wednesday on CBS.

Austin Harrouff, 19, a Florida State University student and Alpha Phi Delta fraternity member from Jupiter, is accused of killing John Stevens III, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, in the garage of their home in the 19000 block of Southeast Kokomo Lane near Jupiter and Tequesta. He is also accused of biting Stevens in the face and abdomen during the attack.

Austin Harrouff remained stable but in critical condition and is still unable to speak as of Wednesday, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. He hasn’t been able to speak because of a breathing tube and then rawness in his throat after the tube was removed.

On the show Wednesday, Wade Harrouff cried as he spoke about the accusations against his son. He told McGraw that police came to his house at 2 a.m. after the attack and showed him a picture of his son in intensive care.

“They told me he has killed two people, eaten them and the blood you see is not his own,” Wade Harrouff said. “My son would never knowingly do something like that. He’s the kindest, most caring kid I’ve ever seen.”

Wade Harrouff said that the attack was the most horrific and unbelievable thing imaginable, and that he apologizes to the families of the victims on behalf of his son.

When McGraw asked Wade Harrouff if this was normal behavior for the “mentally healthy” and “sane” Austin Harrouff, Wade Harrouff told him “absolutely not” and said he had no idea his son was capable of killing two people.

But, Wade Harrouff did say he had noticed a change in Austin’s behavior two weeks before the attack.

“He started not being happy and started being serious,” he said.

He said that Austin went from being a happy person to a person who couldn’t sleep at night.

“There’s no question he had mental problems.”

Wade Harrouff told McGraw he wants to talk to his son when he wakes up because he will tell the truth of what happened. (Austin Harrouff slowly began regaining consciousness after the episode was taped.)


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