FORT MYERS, Fla. - Fort Myers Police have arrested a man they believe is involved in the death of two cousins in April. 23-year-old Donal Dorvilus is behind bars on federal gun charges. Police hope his arrest will give witnesses the courage to speak up without fear of retaliation.
April 20th, 17 year-old Jojo Brunson and 20-year-old Paul Baldwin were shot and killed in Fort Myers' Renaissance Preserve neighborhood. After nearly three weeks, police finally got a break in the case. With help from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, they arrested Dorvilus in Tampa on federal gun charges. Friday, investigators named him a suspect in the cousins' double homicide.
"It's important that people with information come forward." Detective Matthew Sellers said. "Knowing he is in custody now on federal charges, that might make it easier."
Chief Doug Baker said the most frustrating part is getting people to talk. "Within an hour, I would imagine, we already had suspect information coming in from the community," Baker said. "Everybody refers to him as 'Doty.' I need an eyewitness testimony. I need know, 'I saw this. I know this.' Every day that he or she is out is an opportunity for something retaliatory toward that individual."
Dorvilus has a long criminal history, including armed robbery, burglary and battery. In December, he was caught on surveillance during an armed robbery at Motor Sports in Fort Myers."I honestly believe this guy won't be out for some time," Baker said.
The arrest brings relief to Paul Baldwin's mother, Deloria Dillard. She hopes it's enough to encourage others to do the right thing. "Oh my God, it's like a piece of weight just lifted off my chest," Dillard said. "I am praising the Lord right now. My son has given me a little signal, 'mom I'm okay, I'm okay. Everything is going to be okay'."
Baker said there is up to a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in a homicide case. There are also funds available to relocate witnesses.