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Escaped Prisoner Accused Of Killing FSU Student On Trial

By: Heather Biance, Julie Montanaro,Candace Sweat Email
By: Heather Biance, Julie Montanaro,Candace Sweat Email

By: Julie Montanaro
January 3, 2014

An escaped prisoner accused of kidnapping and killing an FSU student is now on trial for it.

Vincent Binder disappeared while walking home from a friend's house in April 2010. His body was found nearly a month later in a field off Interstate 95 near St. Augustine.

Three escaped convicts from Louisiana were ultimately arrested for Binder's abduction and murder. Now the first of the three men is standing trial for it in St. Johns County.

Jury selection started this morning in "state" versus Quentin Truehill.


UPDATED 7:05pm 05.11.2010

Friends sent us this statement on behalf of Vincent Binder's family:

"Today is bittersweet for the Binder family- we buried our friend and family member Vincent Binder- only to find out that the people involved are charged with first degree murder. We, as a family, want to see the people involved prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law-- up to and including death by injection. Vince can never be replaced and that is the point we want to make. We are all together today to celebrate his life and the prosecution of the people involved."


Updated 4:04 pm 5/11/2010

Tracee Mason, one of Vince Binder's classmates weighed in on the indictments:

"I am very glad that the men have been indicted for first degree murder. I know that all of Vince's Tallahassee family and friends are looking forward to seeing justice served. It doesn't take away the pain of losing Vince, but it does help to know that these men are being held accountable for their actions." -Tracee Mason


Updated 11:50am 5-11

The St. Johns County Grand Jury returned Indictments Monday for first degree murder and kidnapping to facilitate a felony against Peter Hughes, Kentrell Johnson and Quentin Truehill in relation to the death of Vincent Binder last month.

Binder's body was discovered off I-95 near St. Augustine.

The men are accused of kidnapping Binder as he walked home from a friend's house on April 2nd.

The trio was eventually captured in Miami and arrest papers show they used Binder's debit card at stops along the way.

We'll have more tonight on WCTV.TV and Eyewitness News.


Updated 1:15pm 5-7

Friends of Vince Binder say they are leaving town Saturday to attend his wake and funeral in New York.

The wake will be held Monday May 10th @ Schaefer's Funeral Home from 2-5pm and 7-9pm. The funeral home is located at 4123 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.Call 718-435-3381 for more information.

Vince's family would like to thank everyone for their support the past few weeks.


UPDATED 4-30-10 at 10:10p.m. by Heather Biance

Vincent Binder's friends and classmates at Florida State tried to keep Vince's face front and center since his disappearance, in hopes that it would bring him home.

They created a website, held a candlelight vigil, and posted a reward and now, they are trying to cope with their worst nightmare.

It's been an emotional roller coaster for those who call themselves Vincent Binder's family.

Perhaps not family by blood, but a strong bond, that's tougher than nails.

And when FDLE announced that the body found south of Jacksonville was indeed Vince, it was a harsh reality that they would never see their friend again.

"We still don't have all of the answers. We have more answers. I think the biggest thing was, where is Vince, what happened to Vince. Now, we're getting closer to that," says Beth Frady, who was the one who reported him missing to Police.

The questions still linger. How did it happen? Where did it happen? and did Vince know what was looming ahead of him?

"I just hope he knew, we'd come looking and I hope that he was at peace with that," says Beth Frady.

Investigators say further forensic testing is needed before releasing details of how Binder was killed, but they say they will get to the bottom of it.

"The outcome of the investigation isn't based on the time it takes, it's on the thoroughness and the successful prosecution. That's our goal," says FDLE Special Agent Don Ladner.

In the meantime, Vince's friends say they're focusing on memories of the happy-go-lucky 29-year-old, his loyal heart and witty sense of humor.

"I'll never forget his humor. Never. He would want us to be laughing right now," says Frady.


UPDATED 4.30.10 5:50pm by Julie Montanaro

A nightmare that began with a late night walk home has ended in murder.

Tallahassee Police announced today that a body found near St. Augustine earlier this week is that of FSU grad student Vincent Binder.

He disappeared four weeks ago today.

Vincent Binder's walk home started at a dear friend's house in Tallahassee and ended more than 200 miles away in this field in St. Johns County.

Tallahassee Police confirm that the body found off I-95 Wednesday is that of the missing FSU grad student. The medical examiner says he was murdered, but authorities aren't saying much more.

"We know there are still many unanswered questions about what happened and our intention is to conduct a thorough, methodical investigation to answer those questions," said FDLE Special Agent in Charge Don Ladner.

Tallahassee's police chief expressed his condolences to Binder's friends and family and said for the integrity of the investigation, authorities would not reveal how or where Binder was killed.

Three fugitives already facing kidnapping charges in Tallahassee will likely be charged with Binder's murder in St. Johns County. That hasn't happened yet.

"We are glad to be able to put some closure for the family, but our job is really still continuing and now we want to make sure that these three fellows that are suspected of this homicide are brought to justice and get their deserved punishment," said Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones.

A decision on murder charges is now in the hands of the state attorney in the seventh circuit.

There is no word on when Binder's body will be returned to his family or when memorial services will be held.


Updated 3:30pm 4-30

The following statement was provided by FSU College of Communication & Information Students, Faculty & Staff

From: ​Stephen D. McDowell, Director of the School of Communication; Lawrence C. Dennis, Dean of the College of Communication & Information Re:​Vincent Binder:

Authorities have confirmed that the body found Wednesday in St. Johns County is Vincent Binder, a Communication graduate student and teaching assistant who had been missing since the pre-dawn hours of April 2. Our sympathies and thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues, classmates and students.

Although our hearts are heavy, we can best honor Vince’s memory by continuing to support one another through this difficult time. A local memorial service will be held at a later date and we will provide details when arrangements are complete.

Once again, we would like to remind the members of the College of Communication & Information family of the resources FSU has available to help students, faculty, and staff as we deal with this tragic event.

Dr. Robin Leach in the Dean of Students Department is available at 850-644-2428. In addition, students seeking support may contact the University Counseling Center at 850-644-2003, as well as the Victim Advocates Program (available 24/7) by dialing 850-644-7161 or 850-644-2277 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and after hours through the FSU Police Department at 850-644-1234.

The dispatcher will take your name and number and have someone return your call promptly.

The Employee Assistance Program is also available to faculty and staff at 850-644-2288.

We want to take this opportunity to express our thanks for the professionalism and efforts of law enforcement and the local news media throughout this entire ordeal.


Updated 3pm 4-30

FDLE Press Release:

The St. Johns County District Medical Examiner today confirmed that the unidentified deceased body found April 28 in St. Johns County is 29-year-old Vincent Binder. Binder, a Florida State University graduate student, went missing from Tallahassee on April 2. The Medical Examiner reports the manner of death is consistent with homicide.

After friends reported Binder missing on April 8, the Tallahassee Police Department’s (TPD) Special Victims Unit began reviewing Binder’s phone and financial information. The review led investigators to Miami. TPD was notified by the South Florida U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force that they had located a stolen pickup truck believed to be used by three prison escapees from Louisiana. Investigators linked the three fugitives to Tallahassee and possibly to the disappearance of Binder. The U.S. Marshals apprehended the fugitives April 12.

Investigators later received information from one of the fugitives that further linked them to Binder’s disappearance. Since the fugitives had traveled throughout the state, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) was asked to assist in the investigation. On the morning of April 28, FDLE agents searching for evidence in conjunction with the case discovered Binder’s body in an open field near the intersection of I-95 and State Road 16 in St. Johns County.

FDLE and the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the homicide investigation. The case will be prosecuted by State Attorney R.J. Larizza of the 7th Judicial Circuit. Given the active investigation and the pending prosecution, information about the specific cause of death will not be released at this time.


Updated 2:27pm 4-30

Tallahassee Police confirm the body found off I-95 near St. Augustine Wednesday is FSU student Vincent Binder.

The autopsy indicates Binder's death was a homicide but police are not releasing the exact cause of death at this time.

Keep checking WCTV.TV and Eyewitness News for more details.


Updated 12pm 4-30

Friends confirm that a body found off I-95 near St. Augustine is that of missing FSU student Vincent Binder.

Beth Frady, a friend who reported Vincent Binder missing weeks ago, tells us that Tallahassee Police have informed her that a body found along I-95 is that of the missing FSU graduate student.

Authorities began an autopsy Thursday morning on a body they believed to be Binder's, but we believe that those results will be announced at this afternoon's news conference.

We'll have the latest developments on wctv.tv and tonight on Eyewitness News.


Updated 11:10am 4-30

The following information was provided by the Tallahassee Police Department:

Friday, at 2:30 p.m., the Tallahassee Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will host a press conference.

The purpose of the press conference is to provide additional information to the public and media as it relates to the Vincent Binder case.

Keep checking WCTV.TV for more details.


UPDATED 4.29.10 11:15am

Friends and family of a missing FSU student are awaiting official word on the identity of a body found yesterday just south of Jacksonville.

Tallahassee Police say they believe it is the body of Vincent Binder and should know for sure soon.

An autopsy is being conducted on the body in St. Johns County this morning and it should reveal the identity of the person found and possibly the cause of death.

Tallahassee Police announced Wednesday that FDLE agents found what they believe is the body of Vincent Binder in a field off the interstate in St. Johns County.

It's near the interchange of I-95 and State Road 16 which is a busy crossroads with lots of gas stations, fast food restaurants and even an outlet mall, but a spokesman with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says the body was found on the fringe of all that in a field that's definitely dark at night.

A TPD Spokesman says FDLE agents searched that field based on information from one of the fugitives who wasn't able to pinpoint the exact location, but did describe some of the surroundings.

Now everyone is waiting for results of today's autopsy.

Those could be released as early as this afternoon, but a spokesman with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says every autopsy is different and based on the condition of the body, it could take longer.

Willie Meggs says if the body is identified as Vincent Binder, murder charges against three escapees would likely be forthcoming in St. Johns County and kidnapping charges that have already been filed in Tallahassee would be handled there too.

Meggs says the fugitives will be prosecuted for two other robberies in Tallahassee the night of Binder's disappearance, but he couldn't say if that will happen first or after what may end up being a murder case.


UPDATED by Denise Wong on 4/28 at 11:17 p.m.

It's been a roller coaster ride for Vincent Binder's friends and classmates at Florida State. But Wednesday evening, they got together at a Tallahassee park and sought comfort in one another.

They had scheduled the barbecue a while ago. When they heard the news that authorities had found a body believed to be that of Vincent Binder, they decided they could not cancel: Vincent would not have wanted them to.

"Coming out here has been nice," says Scott Miller, Binder's friend and classmate. "It's been a nice refresher getting together with a lot of the people who knew Vince the best and loved him the most."

While they grilled burgers, these friends shared stories about Binder's charm and his ability to make everyone laugh.

"Beyond his intelligence and his book smarts, he was a fun guy to be around," says Davis Houck, one of Binder's professors at FSU who joined in on the barbecue. "That's why we're all out here tonight."

These friends say Binder would not have missed a gathering like this.

"He'd be the first one here and the last one to leave," says David Cross, another friend.

"You know, you form such close bonds with people when you spend so much time together," says Becca Edwards. She was one of the last people to see Binder before he vanished on April 2.

"He was just with us," says Houck. "And so the fact that he's not with us right now. we're still processing that. and that's going to take a while to work through."

"I'm just happy that this part of the ordeal is over," says David Frady, one of Binder's close friends. "I'm glad that for his family, he's going to be buried properly. We'll be able to give that bit of closure. We're going to be able to move on to the next stage in our grief... and basically, start picking up."

An autopsy is set to be performed Thursday on the body in St. Johns County. Officials will be able to identify the name of the deceased at that time.


Updated 4:26pm 4-28

STATEMENT FROM FSU PRESIDENT REGARDING STUDENT VINCENT BINDER

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State University President Eric J. Barron released the following statement today after receiving news that law enforcement agencies had discovered a body in St. Johns County believed to be that of Vincent Binder, a graduate student and teaching assistant in the College of Communication and Information who had been missing since April 2:

“The entire Florida State University community is deeply saddened by the loss of graduate student Vince Binder, who touched so many lives as a teacher and debate coach in his college. It is difficult to comprehend the senseless nature of such violence, especially for a promising young person with a full life ahead of him. Our hearts are with Vince’s family and friends, and we will provide the full support of the university to them as we mourn with them.”


Updated 2:30pm 4-28

Tallahassee Police Department Press Release:

On the afternoon of April 8, 2010, friends of Vincent Binder reported that the 29 year-old Florida State University graduate student had been missing since Friday, April 2, 2010. Upon taking the initial report, officers responded to Vincent’s apartment, but could not locate him. The next morning, investigators from the Tallahassee Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit began to review Vincent’s phone and financial information. Based on information contained in the review, Investigators Anne Johnson and Greg Wilder drove to Miami, FL on Friday, April 9, 2010.

While investigators were in Miami the Tallahassee Police Department received a phone call from an investigator with the South Florida U.S. Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Task Force. The U.S. Marshal explained they had located a stolen pickup truck believed to have been used by three escaped prisoners from a Louisiana jail. Soon investigators linked the possibility of the three fugitives to Tallahassee and the possible disappearance of Vincent Binder. U.S. Marshals apprehended the fugitives at approximately 8:00PM, Monday, April 12, 2010.

Investigators Johnson and Wilder soon received information from one of the fugitives linking them to Binder’s disappearance. The Tallahassee Police Department, along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement began an exhaustive detailed search for Vincent that encompassed hundreds of miles, beginning in Tallahassee and ultimately ending in Saint Johns County, FL.

Wednesday morning at approximately 8:00AM, in a field near I-95 and State Road 16, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement located what is believed to be the deceased body of Vincent Binder. Details surrounding the cause of death have not been confirmed and the investigation is ongoing.


Updated 4-22-10 at 11:20pm by Candace Sweat

Friends of missing FSU grad student Vince Binder are now offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who has reliable information about his whereabouts.

Vince's friends say the bottom line is they want their friend back. And as the investigation continues, they're hoping an extra incentive will lead to a new breakthrough in the case.

Since the day he went missing, Binder's friends have worked on raising money to help with investigation efforts and formed a website www.helpfindvince.com where people can donate funds for the cause.

The trail of clues in the disappearance of Vincent Binder veers off the interstate at Highway 221 in Greenville. Sources indicate three prison escapees used Binder's debit card at a Mobil station here to get gas the night Binder disappeared.

But Vince's friends want answers, and mostly they want Vince back.

"Obviously we're under the assumption that these three men did something very bad to Vince that night. These three men weren't the only people that saw Vince that night. We're looking for that person that saw Vince that night besides those three guys," said Binder's friend Beth Frady.

Binder's friends and coordinators of "Help Find Vince" say they'll do whatever they can to keep the phone lines ringing at the Tallahassee Police Department.

TPD will help evaluate the information based on its validity and usefulness to determine who will receive the reward.

"It has to be someone that will lead to the prosecution of the people that have done it," said Frady.

Binder's friends say, as far as they know, nobody has come forward since announcing the reward.

They are hoping to raise an additional $20,000 to go toward assisting Vince's family and possibly a scholarship for students on the debate team that he belonged to.


Updated 2:11pm 4-22

According to www.helpfindvince.com, a $5,000 reward will be granted to anyone who has details about Vince's location.

The website also says all funds not used as reward will go toward any assistance Vince and his family should require and/or a debate scholarship or similar fund in Vince's name.


UPDATED 4.21.10 2:30pm by Julie Montanaro

The search for clues continues in the kidnapping of FSU student Vincent Binder, but we need to correct some of the details we reported yesterday.

We reported that Binder's debit card had been used at a Mobil station on Highway 221 in Madison County and the store manager confirmed that police had come to the store to ask some questions and review their surveillance tapes.

We learned today that FDLE agents did indeed come to the store to review those tapes, but Tallahassee Police say this is not the Madison County gas station where Binder's debit card was used the night the FSU student disappeared. We apologize for our mistake.

A probable cause affidavit released earlier this week says a review of Binder's financial records indicate his debit card was used to buy gas in Madison County, but TPD is not revealing at which Madison County gas station that transaction took place.


UPDATED 4.20.10 6:40pm by Julie Montanaro

The search for a missing FSU student covers more than 500 miles of interstate.

Vincent Binder has been missing for nearly three weeks and one of the suspects in his disappearance said Binder made it at least as far as Madison County, before his co-horts killed him.

The trail of clues in the disappearance of FSU graduate student Vincent Binder veers off the interstate at Highway 221 in Greenville.

Sources indicate three prison escapees used Binder's debit card at a Mobil station here to get gas the night Binder disappeared. The manager confirms police have already come to retrieve the surveillance tapes.

"It's scary. No place is safe anymore," Jan Smith said as she stood outside the Madison post office.

One of the escapees suspected in Binder's disappearance says he remembers getting gas and then Binder being taken away by his two partners in crime. Yet the escapee said he wasn't familiar with Florida and police haven't been able to find Binder's body in Madison County or anywhere else.

The Madison County Sheriff confirms his deputies helped to search the woods along I-10 last week, from county line to county line, with no luck.

"I hope he's alive somewhere and we'll be praying for that, "Madison County resident Linda Gray said. And if not? "Then it's another statistic, another poor person that's been a victim of the craziness," she said.

A Tallahassee Police spokesman would not specify which areas have already been searched and which ones would be searched in the days ahead. He did say every law enforcement agency in Florida has a missing persons bulletin on Vincent Binder.


Updated 4.19.10 at 11:29 pm by Heather Biance

WCTV has learned that the the fugitives used Vincent Binder's ATM card at a Fast Track gas station, located on US 221 in Greenville, Florida (Madison County.)

The store manager confirmed that TPD requested their surveillance video from the day the card was used.

We've attempted to contact the store manager for more details, but at this time we haven't received a call back.

Check back to wctv.tv for more details on this developing story.


UPDATED 4.19.10 4pm by Julie Montanaro

Arrest papers released today in the kidnapping of FSU student Vincent Binder show a trail of clues from Tallahassee to Miami.

And one of the prison escapees accused in Binder's disappearance tells investigators "they didn't have to kill him that way."

The probable cause affidavit reveals lots of new information.

It says that the fugitives used Binder's debit card at ATM machines and gas stations in Tallahassee, Madison, Jacksonville and various other stops on I-95 south.

Two of the fugitives arrested refused to talk, but Kentrell Johnson said the men met Binder near a Tallahassee gas station. He claims Binder asked them if they had any marijuana and they told him to get in the car.

Johnson told investigators they stopped at an ATM, but it wasn't working. Johnson told investigators that Binder asked repeatedly to get out of the truck, and said sometime after buying gas in Madison, the other two fugitives walked off with Binder and Binder didn't come back.

The arrest papers say Johnson stopped talking and asked for an attorney when he realized they had not found Binder's body.

Arrest papers also reveal the one clue that linked the fugitives to Vincent Binder's disappearance. An ATM receipt from Binder's account was found in the stolen truck they were driving.

Arrest papers also say U.S. Marshals found a Florida ID card in that truck that belonged to a Tallahassee woman who was robbed approximately 30 minutes before Binder was last seen. Her description of the men who robbed her matched the fugitives. Arrest papers say there was another robbery 15 minutes before that one in which the victim also described a similar truck and suspects.

Arrest papers say that there is home surveillance video of Vincent Binder walking east on Atkamire Road toward Lake Bradford Road at 12:42am the night he disappeared.

The arrest papers also suggest that Binder may have stopped at his home at 936 Lipona Road that night. Tallahassee Police found some clothing there that Binder's friend says he was wearing when he left her house that night. Investigators also found his backpack and computer in his home and there were no signs of a struggle.

A security guard at a bank in Opa-locka was able to get a tag number when the fugitives tried to use Binder's ATM card there. A bank clerk became suspicious when a black man tried to use a card belonging to a white man. The guard tried to talk to the man, but says he got into a car with two other black men and a black woman and drove off. That license tag number ultimately led U.S. Marshals to the Miami apartment where the men were staying.


Updated 12:17p.m 4-19 by Julie Montanaro

Arrest papers released Monday in the kidnapping of FSU student Vincent Binder show a trail of clues from Tallahassee to Miami.

One of the prison escapees accused in Binder's disappearance tells investigators "they didn't have to kill him that way."

The probable cause affidavit reveals a lot of new information. It says that the fugitives used Binder's debit card at ATM machines and gas stations in Tallahassee, Madison, Jacksonville and various other stops on I-95 south.

Two of the fugitives arrested refused to talk, but Kentrell Johnson said the men met Binder at a Tallahassee gas station. He claims Binder asked them if they had any marijuana and they told him to get in the car.

Johnson told investigators that Binder asked repeatedly to get out, and said at one point the other two fugitives went off with Binder and Binder didn't come back.

The arrest papers say Johnson stopped talking and asked for an attorney when he realized they had not found Binder's body.


SUSPECTS ON THEIR WAY BACK TO TALLAHASSEE
Updated 6:05 pm 4-16 by Julie Montanaro

WCTV has learned that the three prison escapees linked to the disappearance of a missing FSU graduate student are on their way back to Tallahassee.

TPD has confirmed that the men have left Miami Dade Correctional and are en route to the Capital City, but would not say who was transporting them or when they're expected to arrive.

The three men are not only suspected in the disappearance of FSU student Vincent Binder, but are facing charges in connection with two robberies in Tallahassee that happened that same night.

Prison escapees Quentin Truehill, Peter Hughes and Kentrell Johnson were arrested in Miami Monday night.

U.S. Marshals say the men were doing time for robbery and manslaughter in Louisiana when they held a knife to a prison guard and escaped.

One of the men admitted to being involved in Binder's disappearance, but would not say much more.

Tallahassee Police have not revealed what was found in their truck to link them to Tallahassee and there is still no sign of Vincent Binder.


UPDATED Apr 15, 2010 9:11 AM
By Lanetra Bennett

Friends and family of the missing 29-year-old FSU grad student are not giving up; and they're using every resource they can think of to help find him.

Help Find Vince. That's the plea of Vincent Binder's friends, and that's the name of the website that they've created to make that plea across the world wide web.

They've hit the streets and gone door to door.

"Throughout the neighborhood, looked through canals, looked through ditches." Said, Binder's friend Beth Frady.

Now, they're taking their search for Binder to cyber space.

His friend Becca Edwards said, "We all have that one goal. We want to find him. We want to bring Vince home."

Binder's friends created a web site to help bring him home--where he never made it on April 2nd.

Binder was last seen around 12:30 that morning walking to his apartment off Airport Drive in Tallahassee.

His friends have posted the details of his disappearance on the website, details about Binder, photos and his description to spread the word as fast and wide as possible.

Binder's cousins Anthony and Revi Mussolino flew in from Brooklyn, New York to help search for their relative.

Anthony said, "We knew he had a lot of friends, but when we came down and actually saw as many that were working on it, it really made us feel good."

"We felt blessed. We felt so blessed. As soon as I landed, I just saw everyone who was here at the vigil. I cried, I cried and it was tears of happiness that he's touched so many people here." Said, Revi.

Many of those Binder touched are expressing so on the site.

Binder's friend, Phillip Crowe, helped create the web site. He said, "It really shows how people come together in a time of need and really put their heads together to make something great happen."

Frady said, "We always will have hope. We have to; that's what we're going on right now. Together as a group, that's what we have and that's what we're going to hold on to."

There's a section on the website where anyone can give a donation. Those donations are going towards a $5,000 reward to help find Binder.

His friend Chase Porter says he's been checking the site every hour on the hour.

He added a feature that links the website to other social media outlets to further spread awareness.

To visit the site for information or to make a donation, go to www.helpfindvince.com.


Updated 1:45p.m 4-15

STATEMENT FROM FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY REGARDING MISSING STUDENT VINCENT BINDER:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

In a statement released Thursday, Florida State University Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Coburn expressed the university’s grave concern for missing graduate student Vincent Binder, and called upon the entire Florida State community to join together to support his family and his many friends in the College of Communication and Information:

“We are deeply concerned and saddened that we still have no news regarding Vince Binder, a dedicated teacher, debate coach and friend to so many of our Communication students. Florida State is doing everything it can to assist the Tallahassee Police Department with its investigation of this case. In addition, the college has held meetings with its students, while Student Affairs continues to offer counseling services to students, faculty and staff, who have been greatly affected by Vince’s disappearance. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time, and I would ask the greater Florida State community to join me in offering them our support. I urge all of our students to always be mindful of their own safety and that of others.”


Updated 4-13-10 at 11:55 p.m. by Heather Biance

"He is like a son to me, a cousin, a brother. I can't begin to tell you. It's very hard," says Revi Mussolino.

Vince Binder's cousin Revi hopped on a plane Tuesday afternoon and flew nearly a thousand miles from Brooklyn, New York to be in Tallahassee.

She was just one in a sea of more than 75 faces filling Langford Green on Florida State's campus Tuesday night to pray for Vince's safe return.

"We hope they find him sooner than later. We hope that it's not one of those cases for so many years," says Mussolino.

Those who know him best say the 29-year-old is a positive force to be reckoned with. One who loves his life, his family and his friends.

"Not only do I T.A. with him, but he's also in one of my classes. It wasn't the same going in class today and him not being there," says a friend, Jennifer Toole.

Tears fell, songs were sang and candles were lit, bringing light to the darkness and support for one another.

Although the outlook may appear grim, his friends and family refuse to give up hope.

"There is always hope," says a childhood friend, Mark Augustyn.

His friends have launched a website Tuesday. www.HelpFindVince.com.


Update 6:00 p.m. 4-13 Eyewitness News Reporter Heather Biance

A dozen or so friends, faculty and peers are wrapping up a meeting to make sure everyone has the same information.

Binder is a graduate student at FSU's College of Communication. He is also a Teacher's Assistant for a Public Speaking course and coach for the University's Debate team.

This has been devastating for students and staff.

His friends were the last to see him before he vanished and say he walked home or was driven home, and was from Brooklyn, so he walked quite often.

There is a vigil Tuesday night at 8.

For more details on fugitives arrest linked to the missing FSU student go to: http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/90766374.html


Updated 3:22p.m 4-13

The following information was provided by a Tallahassee Police Department Press Release:

FUGITIVES ARREST LINKED TO MISSING STUDENT

Late Monday afternoon, the Tallahassee Police Department received information from the South Florida U.S. Marshal’s Task Force that they had discovered a black Chevrolet pickup abandoned. The Marshal explained they had been searching for the vehicle because it was involved in the escape of three escaped inmates from a jail in Avoyelles Parish, LA. The Marshal explained they located identification inside the vehicle linking the vehicle to Tallahassee, FL.

Sergeant Lawrence Revell was the investigator who spoke to the Miami based U.S. Marshal. As the two investigators compared notes it became likely that the fugitives were involved in two robberies in Tallahassee and possibly the disappearance of Vincent Binder.

With the new information the Tallahassee Police Department worked diligently with the assistance of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and U.S. Marshal Service. Following up on the leads, the South Florida U.S. Marshal’s Task Force located the three escaped inmates hiding near a hotel in Miami (8989 Northwest 27th Avenue, Budget Inn). All three escapees were apprehended without incident and later interviewed by investigators from the Tallahassee Police Department.

During the interview, one of the escapees indicated they may have been involved in the disappearance of Vincent Binder, but refused to provide any details.

Chief Dennis Jones said, “I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the cooperation and assistance of the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The investigation is ongoing and our investigators have a lot of work ahead, but this is the breakthrough we so badly needed. Our focus has been and continues to be on locating Vincent Binder.”

ARRESTED ESCAPEES:

Quentin M. Truehill, B/M. Charges: Was serving 30 years for Manslaughter and Armed Robbery.

Peter M Hughes, B/M. Charges: Was serving 4 years for Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling.

Kentrell F. Johnson, B/M. Charges: Was serving 10 years for a Parole Violation and Armed Robbery.


Updated 4/13/2010 at 2:40 p.m. by Heather Biance

Vince Binder's friends have launched their official Vince Binder: Missing Person website at: www.helpfindvince.com


Updated 10:22a.m 4-13

It's been almost two weeks since an FSU Grad Student was last seen,
But the Tallahassee Police department is not giving up on finding Vincent Binder.

TPD canvassed the area around Airport and Atkamire Drive Monday, where they say Binder was last seen on April 2nd.

Binder's friends and classmates in the school of Communication have scheduled a candle light vigil for Binder tonight at 8p.m on Langford Green at FSU.


By: Lanetra Bennett

It's been one week since Vincent Binder was reported missing, and two weeks since the FSU Grad student was last seen.

Tallahassee Police continue to investigate a link between Vince Binder and the three Louisiana fugitives who were arrested in Miami earlier this week.

Binders' friends call the latest developments "gut wrenching." But, it's not stopping them, nor authorities from continuing to look for answers.

Becca Edwards and Beth Frady embraced as they remembered that their friend Vincent Binder disappeared after leaving their house off Airport Drive in Tallahassee.

Edwards said, "Around 12:15, he got up and touched me on the back of the head and said, Becca, I will see you on the flip side. He walked out the door and that's the last that I saw him."

That was early April 2nd, nearly two weeks ago. Twenty-nine year-old Binder was reported missing a week later on the 8th.

Since then, Binder's friends, family, and authorities have been searching for him relentlessly.

Frady said, "It's hard to understand, but we understand that there's an investigation going on and we want them to do everything that they need to do."

The closest hints so far are these three men who Tallahassee Police say are linked to Binder's disappearance.

The men were arrested Monday in Miami after authorities say they'd escaped from a prison in Louisiana.

Authorities say they found a bloody knife, receipts, and identification inside of a truck that the men had stolen.

Police also say the men are connected to two robberies in Tallahassee around the time Binder went missing.

Binder's cousin Revi Mussolino said, "I was devastated. I instantly collapsed, cried, thought the worst. I was very upset that they escaped. Right now, as a family, we're suffering because of this. We hope he's alive, and if he's not, then they have a lot to answer for."

Right now, Tallahassee Police say those three men are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and that officers are pursuing robbery charges.

Eyewitness News has learned of reports out of Pensacola that say those men may be the suspects that robbed a woman and severed three of her fingers back on April 1st.

Binder was a Communications grad student at FSU.

In a statement released Thursday, Florida State University Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Coburn expressed the university’s grave concern for missing graduate student Vincent Binder, and called upon the entire Florida State community to join together to support his family and his many friends in the College of Communication and Information:

“We are deeply concerned and saddened that we still have no news regarding Vince Binder, a dedicated teacher, debate coach and friend to so many of our Communication students. Florida State is doing everything it can to assist the Tallahassee Police Department with its investigation of this case. In addition, the college has held meetings with its students, while Student Affairs continues to offer counseling services to students, faculty and staff, who have been greatly affected by Vince’s disappearance. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time, and I would ask the greater Florida State community to join me in offering them our support. I urge all of our students to always be mindful of their own safety and that of others.”

Anyone with any information on Binder's disappearance is asked to call Big Bend Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS.


updated 4-12 at 10:45pm by Candace Sweat

It's been almost two weeks since a FSU Grad Student was last seen, and there are still no signs of his whereabouts.

But the Tallahassee Police department is not giving up, and hit the streets Monday to find any clues that may lead them in the direction of Vince Binder.

The search began around 3pm on Monday with a briefing at Palmer Monroe Community Center. From there, twelve officers spread out to canvass the neighborhood along Airport Road and Altkamire Drive. It's the area where they say Binder was last seen.

Meanwhile, those who knew Binder on a personal level are busy doing some investigation of their own. They say it's completely out of character for him to just up an leave.

"He had a ton of responsibilities. He loved those responsibilities. And for him not to show up to those responsibilities is a big huge red flag," said Binder's friend Beth Frady.

A tip has led two investigators to Miami, Florida, but police aren't giving specifics about why they're there.

They do say they're not giving up hope that someone out there has the information they need.

Friends are holding a prayer vigil on FSU's campus Tuesday, April 12th at 8 p.m. at Langford Green on Florida State's Campus.


Updated 4-12-10 at 7:21 p.m. by Heather Biance

A dozen or so Tallahassee Police officers scoured the neighborhood surrounding Palmer Munroe Community Center Monday afternoon, talking with neighbors, hoping to unearth any clues that might be a missing piece in the disappearance of Vincent Binder.

The 29-year-old's friends tell me it would be completely out of character for him to just pack up and go, but beyond just that, he doesn't have a car and his bike was found inside his apartment.

Eleven days ago, Vincent Binder left his friend's apartment at the Lakes and started walking home down Airport Drive.

Since then, it seems the 29-year-old Graduate student of Communication at FSU has vanished into thin air.

"Then I started talking to all the professors asking have you seen him, has he shown up for classes. Once that didn't happen, something was wrong," says Vince's friend, Beth Frady.

Friends and colleagues spent the weekend wading in water, scouring the area he was last seen, looking for any sign of Vince.

"It's horrendous. It's a heavy burden to carry around," says Frady.

His friends handed out more than 60 ribbons Monday to those who know Vince from school, keeping him at the forefront of all of their minds.

"He cared for everybody around him and this is sort of our return of that all coming together to care for him as much as he cared for the people that he interacted with everyday," says Vince's friend, Nicole Cox.

Flyers have been put up all across the capital city. The hope is that as people walk up to pay their bills, they'll see the flyers, hopefully jogging their memories and giving crucial clues to Police.

So far, the Tallahassee Police Department's investigation has turned up dry, but a tip has landed two investigators in Miami, Florida since Friday.

Police won't say, what they're doing there and what they're hoping to find.

Investigators won't say if foul play is suspected at this time, but they also haven't ruled it out.

Friends are holding a prayer vigil on FSU's campus Tuesday, April 12th at 8 p.m. at Langford Green on Florida State's Campus.


Updated 3:15p.m 4-12

The following is a Press Release from TPD:

On Thursday, April 8, 2010, the Tallahassee Police Department received a report that 29 year-old Vincent Binder was missing.

Binder is a graduate student at Florida State University and has a small, but close group of friends.

The reporting person indicted that Binder had not been seen since approximately 12:30AM on Friday, April 2nd.

Officers responded to Binder’s apartment in the 900 Block of Lipona Road in an effort to locate him, without success.

The following morning investigators continued their attempt to locate Binder, again without success.

Binder’s friends explained to investigators that he is very dependable and would not have been gone for this length of time without contact.

Based on information received from Binder’s friends and family, investigators have reviewed Binder’s financial information and his phone records in an effort to locate him.

The information obtained based on the records search cannot be disclosed at this time, but indicates a series of suspicious activities.

The Tallahassee Police Department is working closely with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida State University Police Department.

As of late Friday, April 9, 2010, investigators from the Tallahassee Police Department were in the Miami, FL area, following potential leads in the case.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Vincent Binder is asked to contact the Tallahassee Police Department at (850) 891-4200 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS (8477).



Updated 1:30p.m 4-12

TPD has confirmed that investigators in Miami-Dade County have been following up on a tip in the case since Friday.

Officers are planning to canvas Tallahassee neighborhoods Monday afternoon. They’re hoping to talk with residents to see if they can learn more about his whereabouts or if anyone saw him walking home the night of April 2nd.

We will bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.


Updated 9a.m 4-12

Tallahassee Police say there are no new details at this time.

We will bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.


His friends gathered Friday afternoon a hundred or so feet away from where they last saw him.

Friends say he left their place at Lakes Condominiums on Airport Drive a little after midnight and walked to his apartment off Lipona Road.

Something he did on a regular basis.

They say they didn't report him missing at first, because they thought the FSU Debate Team Coach was away at a competition.

"We just want to get as many to see his face, we just want to get as many people, if they've seen him and they can help us get ahold of him. He was a really great guy, and the person you'd love to have as a friend," says Vincent's friend, David Frady.

They say he is extremely responsible and this is completely out of character for the 29-year-old.

Binder does not have a car and his bike was found inside his apartment.

If you have any information please call the Tallahassee Police Department at 850-891-4200.


Update 6:00pm 4-9

Binder's friends started a search for him in the area this evening—but Tallahassee Police asked them to hold off on that until they conduct their own investigation.


Press Release from the Tallahassee Police Department:

Vincent Binder
(white male, 29 years old, 5’10” tall, 180 lbs)

The Tallahassee Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit is seeking information on the location of this subject.

Anyone with information should contact the Tallahassee Police Department at 891-4200


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