News from BSO

ID RELEASED OF MAN FOUND IN WOODED FIELD Two People Arrested

Updated: 8/5/01 5:59:04 PM
BSO Case Number: BS01-08-1445
PIO Number: 01-8-6
Date: August 4, 2001
Time: 4:23 p.m.
Place of Occurrence: near the 3300 block of North Dixie Highway, (uninc.) Pompano Beach

Victim(s):

  • Robert George Simmons, 45, 2/20/56, white, male, no known address (DECEASED)

Suspect(s):

  • William Roland Desmarais, 53, 7/18/48, male, no known address
  • David Allen Billings, 41, 5/27/60, male, no known address

Description of Incident:

Broward Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives have arrested two men responsible for the murder of a homeless man, whose body was discovered in a shallow grave in a heavily wooded field near Pompano Beach late Saturday afternoon.

BSO deputies had been searching for the body in the field, located just west of the 3300 block of North Dixie Highway, since receiving an anonymous tip late Friday night. The tipster did not have first hand information and could not tell deputies exactly where in the field the body was buried. BSO deputies searched the 15-acre field by ground and air and resumed their search on Saturday.

The body of 45-year-old Robert George Simmons was located about 4:30 p.m. Saturday in a six feet by four feet deep grave in the field. Detectives were not able to locate any of Simmons’s relatives in order to make the proper notification.

Several witnesses identified William Roland Desmarais and David Allen Billings as the two people responsible for beating the victim to death. Desmarais told homicide detectives he confronted the victim Thursday night about some beer the victim had stolen from him. Witnesses said that’s when Desmarais started punching the victim and Billings joined in by kicking the victim. Witnesses said both men punched and kicked the homeless victim until he stopped breathing. The two suspects placed the victim in the nearby field and decided to bury him the next day (Friday).

Desmarais and Billings are being held without bond on an open count of murder. The official cause and manner of death will be determined by the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office.

INVESTIGATORS: Homicide Sgt. J. Carr and PIO Veda Coleman-Wright

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