Ocala, Florida – A shocking crime has left friends and family in disbelief as authorities make progress in the investigation into the death of 59-year-old Timothy Smith. Smith was found dead in an apartment he shared with his husband, Herb Swilley, who has since been arrested and charged with premeditated first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.
According to witnesses at the scene, Swilley claimed that the apartment was used for extramarital encounters, suggesting that the couple had an open marriage. However, some of Smith’s friends have expressed reservations about Swilley, describing him as having a rough personality and showing little emotion when confronted with the death of his husband. “None of us would have befriended Herb had it not been for Tim,” Smith’s friend Candy Baker told People magazine. “He had a really rough personality. He was very cold.”
The crime scene revealed unsettling details. Smith was found undressed from the waist down, with ligature marks around his neck and blunt force trauma to his face and genitals. Smith had also suffered a fracture to his cervical spine. Additionally, a toxicology report found that he had been subjected to a dangerous amount of the active ingredient in Benadryl. These findings led authorities to suspect that the scene had been staged to appear as a mock crime scene.
Further investigation has uncovered disturbing details about Smith’s relationship with Swilley. Friends and family were unaware of the alleged domestic violence Smith endured. They were also surprised to learn that Swilley was the beneficiary of Smith’s substantial life insurance policy.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Swilley was “void of any sadness or despair” after his wife was found dead and didn’t show much emotion at the scene.
Swilley and his daughter from a previous marriage, Jordan Swilley, 20, were purging Tim’s personal belongings, including family photos, less than 24 hours after Smith’s body was found.
After months of searching for leads, authorities finally arrested Swilley, providing a sense of relief for those close to Smith. Swilley has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. Authorities claim Swilley killed Smith at their primary residence, then transported his body to the apartment and created a “mock crime scene,” the affidavit states.
The investigation allegedly revealed that Smith had been the victim of domestic violence in his relationship and was close to securing a new job in another county – one he planned to move to without Swilley. In addition, Swilley was named as the beneficiary of Smith’s life insurance policy worth $333,000 in the event of his death.
The case continues to unfold, leaving loved ones grappling with the hidden truths of Smith’s life and the unimaginable loss they now face.