Russell Tillis

Russell Tillis was in jail serving time when the body of 31-year-old Joni Gunter was found on his Southside property. He is facing murder charges. Tillis is charged with murder, kidnapping, human trafficking and abuse of a dead human body. If convicted the state will seek the death penalty. While in jail a fellow inmate contacted authorities to say that Tillis told him about killing and dismembering a woman and burying her on his property. He said she was restrained, provided with narcotics and forcibly subjected to sexual exploitation. Tillis was charged with murder after the remains of Joni Lynne Gunter were identified. Officials say Gunter died of blunt force trauma to the head sometime from February 2014 to May 2015. Gunter was identified when DNA samples taken from her remains matched DNA on file with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Police describe Gunter as transient, with a history of prostitution, characteristics that match some of Tillis' other potential victims, at least one of whom is scheduled to testify. According to prosecutors, Tillis confessed three times - twice to a jail inmate named Sammie Evans who was wearing a wire and once to prosecutor Alan Mizrahi. In the jailhouse recordings, Tills described keeping women as captive sex slaves in a soundproofed room and killing and dismembering at least two with a reciprocating saw.