By: Tiffany Duong and Mandy Miles
A 17-year-old suspect accused of fatally stabbing his autistic 14-year-old brother early Thursday morning, and critically stabbing his father, Ariel Poholek, remained on the loose Thursday afternoon.
Authorities in the Florida Keys are asking for the public’s help locating suspect Daniel Weisberger, 17, but are urging people not to approach the suspect, who is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information about this suspect’s location should call 911 immediately.
The father, Poholek, was airlifted to Miami and was still alive as of 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Adam Linhardt confirmed.
Multiple agencies are searching for Weisberger, who allegedly stabbed his brother to death and critically injured his father near Mile Marker 87.2 in Islamorada.
A resident of the Executive Bay Club townhomes called 911 at approximately 6 a.m., after his neighbor — Ariel Jacob Poholek, 43 — approached him and said his son, Daniel Weisberger, had fatally stabbed his 14-year-old younger brother earlier in the morning and then stabbed him multiple times, including in the neck.
It was unclear Thursday morning what spurred Weisberger to stab his younger brother and then his father.
Weisberger left the scene sometime after Poholek went to the neighbor’s residence, according to reports from the sheriff’s office.
Weisberger’s younger brother was pronounced dead at the scene.
No other people were in the residence at the time of the incident other than Poholek and his two sons.
Poholek and his younger son, the victim, are well known in the Upper Keys for their service to the community and environment and for their involvement with the local Boy Scouts troops.
Friends flooded Poholek’s Facebook, offering condolences and sharing their sorrow: “The world lost a shining star today. We are sorry for your loss and pray for your swift recovery.”
Kathleen Pegues, who knows both victims well through scouting, said, “It’s a terrible day in the Keys. It’s just… the children are shattered by the news. The children are struggling with the sound of the helicopters and the police sirens, knowing what happened to their dear friend.”
“Everyone is standing by and praying. Shattered,” she added.
Myriad South Florida law enforcement partners are assisting the Sheriff’s Office in the search for Weisberger. Throughout the Upper Keys, helicopters, K-9 units, tactical teams and other resources are currently being used to find the suspect.
Again, anyone with information about this suspect’s location should call 911 immediately.
The Weekly will update this story with further developments and tributes to the victim.