On Monday, September 4, in Lake Wales, Polk County, Florida authorities arrested Stephen Thomas Rodda, 37. The arrest is connected to the alleged fatal assault on his son, 16-year-old Stephen Lee Rodda, using an angle grinder.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd provided information regarding the incident that occurred in a mobile home.
The younger Rodda, who had dreams of a career as an electrician, had been residing with his grandfather, Thomas Rodda, 67. His presence there was intended to aid his grandfather at home while his grandmother was in rehab.
A disturbing discovery was made when, on that Monday, the grandfather came home from visiting his wife in rehab and saw Stephen Thomas outside the home. Stephen is alleged to have confessed to the murder and advised his father to alert the police. He purportedly cautioned his father about entering the residence. The grandfather’s worst fears were confirmed upon finding the teenager lifeless inside.
Authorities have pinpointed a heavy-duty saw as the tool used in the tragic event. The father, Stephen Thomas Rodda, was later caught and arrested on Highway 60. He isn’t unfamiliar to the law, possessing a significant criminal history and an outstanding South Carolina warrant. Sheriff Judd elaborated on the father’s criminal and drug-addled past, underlining the immense sadness this incident brings to the family.
The younger Stephen was a Frostproof High School student and was about to start working at Burger King, hoping to purchase a car. The underlying reasons for the incident remain the subject of an ongoing inquiry.