Fla. police ID dead ex-con as suspect in Tiffany Sessions case

The Alachua County sheriff has named Paul Rowles, a convicted serial killer who died last year in prison, as a suspect in the disappearance of Tiffany Sessions 25 years ago; the Univ. of Fla. student is pictured here in a missing poster
CBS Miami

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A convicted serial killer has been named by the Alachua County sheriff as the man believed responsible for the disappearance of University of Florida student Tiffany Sessions 25 years ago, reports CBS affiliate WTEV.

Paul Rowles, who died in prison last year, was identified as the suspect by Sheriff Sadie Darnell, citing information found in a journal Rowles kept inside his prison cell.

After his death, Orlando Sentinel reports that investigators took Rowles' belongings, which included a journal and a 2002 calendar. At the bottom of the calendar, Rowles had written: "2/9/89 #2." Detectives believe this may have been the suspect's way of noting Sessions was his second victim.

Darnell said that Rowles made a journal entry on February 9, 1989, the same day that Sessions, a University of Florida student, disappeared.

Rowles, a convicted murderer and sex offender, emerged as a serious suspect in the Sessions case after a DNA match in another Gainesville murder, reports the Sentinel.According to the sheriff, there is no DNA evidence that connects Sessions and Rowles.

"Pieces of this puzzle are still being put together," Tiffany's mother Hillary Sessions told the Sentinel. "We're looking for a very small needle in a very large haystack."

She is asking for anyone with information in the case to come forward. The public should call (352) 955-1818 with any information.