A 30-year-old Disney World employee was murdered sometime last week after he took in a couple with two small children. Jay Stone of Ocoee, Florida was employed as a maintenance man at the children’s theme park, a job his parents said that he loved and enjoyed immensely. His parents said he recently befriended a man named Thomas Michael Heath, 35, a convicted felon but the relationship seemed odd given Stone’s honest and kind lifestyle.
Stone offered Heath temporary residence in his apartment when Health told Stone he and his family were about to be kicked out of the hotel room they were staying for failing to pay.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Stone’s parents called police when Stone failed to show up for work for three days in a row. Stone’s mother, Jo Hutcherson said her son embodied all the values and pride of Disney, saying, “He didn’t work at Disney, he was Disney.”
Ms. Hutcherson and Stone’s father, John Stone, who are divorced, said they thought something was amiss when Stone failed to call them last week and read them one his latest “thank you” letters that he would often times get from park guests. They said that he would get so excited when got those kinds of letters and was always eager to share them with family.
At the beginning of the investigation, Ocoee Police found that Stone’s credit cards were being used, an uncommon behavior for Stone who lived a very simple life. His apartment reportedly consisted of only an air mattress and television.
Stone’s parents suspected right away that the family who had been staying with their son had something to do with his disappearance. Police went to Stone’s apartment on Saturday, where they discovered his lifeless body.
Police caught up with Heath in Georgia where he was arrested. Upon arrest, they found that Heath had a warrant for his arrest in Tennessee, his prior residence. Apparently Heath had violated his probation on a 2010 theft conviction.
Heath’s wife, Shanna, 32, was questioned but later released. Shanna claimed she and her kids were kidnapped and were afraid because she believed Heath had done something horrible to Stone.
Heath is currently awaiting extradition to Tennessee but will likely face more significant charges in Florida.