A Florida handyman confessed to killing his fiancé and sleeping next to her body before leaving the woman’s body in a pickup truck in a Walmart parking lot, police said.
Police Chief Daniel Acosta said in a video statement that the body of Jeanine Bishop, 67, was discovered early Tuesday at a Walmart in Sebastian’s after police responded to reports of a woman being seen in a pickup truck.
Acosta said Michael John Despres, a 56-year-old handyman at Sebastian’s, was also at Walmart and gave investigators “secret accounts” about his whereabouts before his fiancée’s body was found.
Acosta said, “Sebastian, when interviewed by detectives, confessed to killing Ms. Bishop in their shared residence and later moving her body to the Walmart parking lot, where he staged the incident.”
Acosta said the murder investigation is ongoing, collecting evidence from Despres’s home and workplace, as well as his vehicle and the bishop.
Despres told police he had been contemplating killing his fiancé for several days because he was “angry” and made a weapon using a rope and two handles to strangle Bishop, Captain Timothy Wood told The Post. told.
Police said investigators also found signs of strangulation and obvious red spots near Bishop’s eyes.
During interviews with detectives, Despres admitted to strangling Bishop late Monday as she sat in the kitchen chair. He told police that he carried her body to his bed and slept next to her that night before changing her clothes and putting her body in a pickup truck, Wood said.
Despres, identified in prison records as a handyman, told police that he then put a bicycle inside his gray van and drove to Walmart before riding the bike back to his Sebastian home, Wood said.
Acosta said Bishop’s body was found after Despres drove the truck to a Walmart parking lot.
Despres remained in the Indian River County Jail without bail on Wednesday, online records show. It is not clear whether they have hired a lawyer who can speak on their behalf.