Stephen Duxbury is behind bars for the murder of a tenant, Sasha Samsudean, at an apartment building in Orlando, Florida, where he was working as a security guard.
On the night of Oct. 17, 2015, Samsudean, a University of Florida graduate who worked in the real estate and apartment industries, went to the Attic Bar on 68 East Pine Street with some of her friends.
According to Orlando Sentinel, Samsudean left the nightclub around 12: 30 a.m. and went to her home at the Uptown Place Apartments on 911 N Orange Avenue.
When Samsudean arrived, Duxbury, then 33, wouldn’t let her inside the building, as she didn’t have her access key, even though he had seen her there before.
Duxbury was employed by Vital Security and Investigations and had been working security at Uptown Place Apartments for several months. He was a married United States Air Force veteran and Strayer University graduate.
Two bystanders helped Samsudean get home from the bar after noticing she was alone and intoxicated. They told police officials that they saw her sneak into the building behind another tenant later that night.
That was the last time anyone saw her alive.
Hours later, her friends tried contacting her via cell phone and social media, but there was no response. They then went to her third-floor apartment, number 345, and knocked on the door, but again, there was no answer.
They contacted the police department and reported Samsudean missing.
Shortly after 8 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2015, police officers with the Orlando Police Department were dispatched to Samsudean’s apartment to conduct a welfare check.
When they arrived, they found Samsudean dead inside her bedroom. She was lying on her bed, wrapped in her comforter.
Her purple shirt had been ripped from her body, and the necklace she was wearing had been snatched off and was tangled in her hair.
When officers scanned the room for evidence, they uncovered a condom wrapper and an imprint of a shoe next to her bed. They also ascertained a fingerprint on a lifted toilet seat.
An autopsy showed that Samsudean died of asphyxiation. According to medical examiner Dr. Gary Utz, she was also beaten and suffered a fractured larynx.
During his examination of Samsudean’s body, Dr. Utz stated that he had “never seen an internal neck fracture as severe as what Sumsudean suffered,” News 6 WKMG noted.
He added that she sustained “bruising to her chest from several blows, and her body smelled of cleaning solution.”
When defense attorney Aaron Delgado asked if there were any signs of a struggle, Dr. Utz said, “No, the bedclothes were somewhat disorganized, but other than that, I did not notice anything that was indicative of a struggle.”
During an investigation, investigators questioned the security guard, Duxbury, at the Uptown Place Apartments about Samsudean’s death.
He told them that he recalled her arriving at the apartment complex in an inebriated state and offered to help her get inside her apartment, according to the Baltimore Sun.
As he was being interviewed, investigators noticed he had scratches and bite marks on his body. They grew suspicious of Duxbury and asked him to show them the shoes he wore to work on the night Samsudean was killed.
The pair of sneakers he showed investigators did not match the shoe imprint that was found inside the victims’ apartment.
After police obtained a warrant to search Duxbury’s house in Port Orange, Florida, they rummaged through his unkempt home and discovered a pair of shoes that were a match.
When investigators discovered that his fingerprints matched the fingerprint found inside Samsudean’s apartment, they arrested him.
He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, where he was held without bond.
Duxbury was charged with first-degree murder, attempted sexual battery with physical force, and burglary of a dwelling with assault and battery.
He was found guilty of the charges in 2017.
Surveillance footage captured Samsudean and Duxbury walking the halls of Uptown Place Apartments.
Investigators believe that Duxbury broke into her apartment and raped her before strangling her to death on her bed. He then poured cleaning products on her body to destroy evidence.
According to an Orlando police affidavit, “Instead of getting her safely into her apartment as he was employed to do, he used his position to his advantage in order to enter her apartment, sexually batter her, and then strangled her.”
Before Duxbury was sentenced in November 2017, Samsudean’s parents offered emotional statements to the judge at the Orange County Courthouse, News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando reported.
Her mother said she had to quit her job as an emergency room nurse because she was having a hard time treating rape victims.
She added that she “will never have a last supper with my daughter again, her father will never walk her down the aisle. Every wedding I attend I know we would never have that with my daughter.”
Samsudean’s father said she “will live on through memories,” and he thanked the Orlando police officer for finding his daughter’s killer.
Following a seven-day trial, Circuit Judge Lisa T. Munyo sentenced Duxbury to two life sentences with an additional 15 years in prison for the burglary conviction.