SEBASTIAN, Fla. – A Florida man admitted to killing his 67-year-old fiancée and then driving her body to a Walmart parking lot, authorities said.
Michael John Despres, 56, of Sebastian, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder, according to Indian River County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.
Despres is accused in the death of Jeanine Bishop, 67, of Sebastian, who was found dead in her black Silverado in the store’s parking lot, according to TCPalm.com.
Police officers found Bishop’s body at about 7:45 a.m. EDT Tuesday after Despres told a manager of an “emergency involving his fiancee in the parking lot,” Sebastian Police Department Detective Kenneth McDonough said in an arrest report.
After giving “cryptic accounts” to officers, police officials said Despres confessed to killing Bishop at their home and later transporting her to the parking lot of Walmart where he left the body, WPTV reported.
A medical examiner found ligature marks on Bishop’s neck and a 2-inch laceration “consistent with strangulation,” TCPalm.com reported.
According to McDonough’s report, Despres told officers “he had been angry at (Bishop) and had been contemplating killing her for several days prior to her death,” the website reported.
Despres told police he strangled Bishop from behind with a garrote — which he had made out of rope tied to two handles — while she sat in a kitchen chair around 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday, TCPalm.com reported. Despres said he placed the woman’s body on a bed in the home’s master bedroom and slept in the same room until about 5:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday.
According to McDonough, Despres said he drove his van to the Walmart and rode his bicycle 2 1/2 miles back to the couple’s residence. He drove Bishop’s vehicle to the store and placed her body in the passenger seat. Detectives said he moved his van to a nearby Dollar Tree parking lot before reporting an emergency to a Walmart employee, TCPalm.com reported.
Walmart surveillance cameras “clearly depict(ed)” everything Despres said while he was interviewed by detectives, McDonough said in the report.
Despres is being held without bail at the Indian River County Jail, online records show.