Celebration, Florida Killing: Homeless Man Arrested for First Murder in Disney-Developed Town

Matteo P. Giovanditto (WTSP)
Celebration, Florida KIlling: Homeless Man Arrested for First Murder in Disney-Developed Town
Matteo P. Giovanditto (WTSP)

CELEBRATION, Fla. (CBS/WTSP/AP) Authorities have made an arrest in the first homicide ever in the Disney-developed community of Celebration, Florida - a homeless man, who reportedly knew the victim.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office announced Monday that they had arrested 28-year-old David-Israel Murillo and have charged him with first-degree murder for the death of 58-year-old Matteo Giovanditto.

Investigators say Giovanditto was beaten and strangled to death inside his Celebration condominium sometime over Thanksgiving weekend.

Murillo and Giovanditto had known each other for about a year and a half before the slaying; however, police refused to give specific details regarding their relationship.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Twis H. Lizasuain said Murillo was identified as a person of interest because his photo was found on Giovanditto's computer and his fingerprints were found in the man's condo. He was brought in for questioning Saturday after investigators found out he tried to sell coins owned by the victim.

Detectives says Murillo told thems he had been drinking with Giovanditto on Nov. 24 when they got into a fight, according to Lisasuain. Lizasuin said Murillo told them he became angry and beat Giovanditto unconscious with an ax he found in the closet.

"He got what he deserved," Murillo reportedly said as he was escorted out of the sheriff's office.

According to the Orlando Sun Sentinel, Giovanditto, a former teacher and Massachusetts native, moved to the small, family-oriented community in south Florida in 2004 and worked as a psychologist for challenged youths.

Murillo is being held without bond pending a Tuesday court hearing.

Disney relinquished control of Celebration several years ago.