C amile Hamilton survived a terrifying attack that left her 15-year-old daughter, Nekitta, and two of the friends — Faith Bisasor and 15-year-old Davion Bishop — dead.
Camile had been shot in the left side of her face near her eye.
She’s the only eyewitness and investigators needed her to help identify the man who attacked her.
A sketch artist went to the hospital on Aug. 22, 2009, less than a week after the incident, to put together a picture of the attacker.
Camile’s jaw was wired shut and she was a bit groggy.
It took time but the artist drew a sketch and detectives had their first look at the attacker.
He was a black young man — maybe in his 20s. Short hair and a thin mustache, his only facial hair.
Later that day, detectives interviewed Camile. From her hospital bed she went over details about what happened on August 16 and 17 of 2009.
In the weeks and months after the attack, Camile’s descriptions of what happened varied, along with details of the attacker.
Her memory may be the only key to solving the case. But would it be reliable enough to catch the man who killed Nekitta, Faith and Davion?
Davion was Faith’s 15-year-old son. The murders took place in their house on Encino Street in Miramar.
Faith was an emergency room nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital. She was Jamaican, and she met Camile at a wedding on the island country around 2008. The two became friends.
Davion was a top student at Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale. He was a goofy teenager but was also exceptional. He was caring and thoughtful, often making personal sacrifices to help others.
He played piano and had a shelf full of trophies above a desk in his bedroom.
Davion’s funeral was held on Aug. 29, 2009. His father, Pastor Robert Bishop, foreground on stage, gave the eulogy.
Camile called her daughter Nikki. She was a top student at her school in Kingston, Jamaica. She came to the United States with her mom a couple weeks before the murders.
She was an avid reader and loved to swim and ride bikes. She also liked music and singing — Luther Vandross and Britney Spears were favorites.
She and her mom were close, they acted more like sisters.
Evidence emerges from the crime scene
As detectives continued to ask Camile about her memory of the attack, they were using the artist’s sketch to find suspects.
Flyers were distributed in the neighborhood. There was a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Tips came in, but no leads panned it.
By 2010, the case was at a virtual standstill. Detectives needed a forensic break.
Investigators found five rolls of duct tape at the murder scene. But one was of particular interest. It was on a table near the three bodies. The county crime lab tested the roll for DNA but the results didn’t lead to a suspect.
Months later, the crime lab tried something new. This time using a common household product called un-du, used to remove adhesive from stickers and tape.
If there were cells containing DNA sticking to the tape, the un-du might help free them.
The DNA from the tape was reviewed and a profile uploaded to a state law enforcement database that includes people convicted of and arrested for crimes.
On July 12, 2010, nearly a year after the murders, Miramar Detective Steve Toyota got a call from the crime lab — and finally caught a break.
The DNA on the duct tape returned a name.
He’s a man who has been in prison before. Black, American, thin and in his early 30s. That was similar to the description Camile Hamilton provided of her attacker.
His name was Kevin Pratt.
So detectives finally had a suspect, and quickly set out to charge him. But the crime lab’s DNA manager pointed out that the results on the duct tape weren't the strongest.
And the results were complicated. There was DNA from at least three different people on the tape. One was similar to Camile Hamilton’s, and another similar to Kevin Pratt’s. The third was unknown.
And the chance that an unrelated person had similar DNA to what was found on the duct tape was one in 460,000— not an insignificant number but not the strongest probability. In some cases, when the DNA from the evidence and a suspect are very similar, the strength of the probability can be in the billions.
The next day, Detective Toyota brought the case to prosecutors, still looking to make an arrest.
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The prosecutors told him the same thing the lab manager said the day before.
The DNA results alone weren’t strong enough. The detective had more work to do.
Two weeks later, he was on a plane to Jamaica.
About Felonious Florida
The Felonious Florida podcast is produced by the South Florida Sun Sentinel and presented in audio form in partnership with Wondery. Reporting is based on court documents, interviews, police reports and media coverage. The show was created by Lisa Arthur and Juan Ortega and is produced by David Schutz. Reporting by Stephen Hobbs, Juan Ortega, Marc Freeman and Tonya Alanez. Editing by Randy Roguski. The host of Felonious Florida is EmmaKate Austin. Sound direction by Sean Pitts with additional recordings by Carline Jean, Susan Stocker and John McCall. Web design by Yiran Zhu. The Felonious Florida team includes Dana Banker, Danny Sanchez, Cindy Choi and Kelly Frye.
Have a comment or question about this podcast or the cases it features, leave a recording at 954-283-7531 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.