The ‘unused’ Florida apartment where a man is alleged to have stashed his husband’s body after drugging and strangling him to death, was the couple’s sex dungeon for meet-ups with strangers they met online, DailyMail.com has learned.
Timothy Smith, 59, was found dumped at the apartment in Ocala after being killed at his primary home in what is believed to be a plot allegedly orchestrated by husband Herbert Swilley to collect a $333,000 life insurance payout.
He was found naked, with a broken neck, and with 30 times the recommended dose of antihistamine in his system, on March 25.
But it took seven months for handyman Swilley, 55, to be named as the prime suspect in Smith’s death. He was arrested and charged with first degree murder and evidence tampering on November 1.
Swilley is accused of killing his husband of seven years at their main home, taking the body to their two-bedroom sex den, and then staging a fake crime scene.
A probable cause affidavit obtained by DailyMail.com from Marion County Sheriff’s Office states the pair had two homes in the central Florida city, a primary residence where they lived with their daughter, and the 800 sq.ft. apartment that they specifically used for sex with other men.
Herbert Swilley (pictured far left, and right in his mugshot) is accused of strangling and drugging husband Timothy Smith, 59, and then stashing his body at their second home in Ocala, Florida in March
The multi-family home in Ocala, Florida, where Swilley is accused of stashing Smith’s body
Referring to the couple, Detective Daniel Pinder who was called to the scene on March 25, wrote: ‘They have a primary residence in which they live as well as a secondary residence (the location where the victim was located).
Referring to himself in the document as ‘writer’ he continued: ‘Writer learned it was reported the purpose of the secondary residence was so the couple could engage in sexual acts (with other persons).
Pinder said when he entered the premises he went into the bedroom where Smith’s body was lying, there was ‘a dresser on the left wall with sexual lubricant atop’.
‘Writer observed a bed in the center absent of bedding except a fitted sheet and atop (of) which was leather bondage restraints.
‘Writer observed the only other bedroom in the residence to contain a massage table, freestanding chain swing, and a toolbox filled with various toys and implements utilized in bondage or other sex-related practices.’
Pinder said he then taped an interview with Swilley who told him the apartment was ‘obtained for the purpose of sex with other parties which they would meet on social media applications. The defendant advised he is in an open relationship with the victim’.
Smith – an executive at an assisted living home in Orlando – was ‘on the floor to the right of the bed in a supine position with his arms and legs slightly spread.
‘The victim was clothed in a tank top and shoes (wearing no pants or underwear). Writer observed a dark ligature mark around the neck with no ligature nearby. Writer noted facial and genital trauma.’
Pinder said Swilley’s behavior since his partner’s death has been ‘contradictory with that of a grieving spouse.’
A general view of the couple’s primary residence in Ocala, Florida, where Swilley is alleged to have killed his husband before transferring his body to the apartment
The couple shared 19-year-old daughter Jordan, who lived with the couple at the primary residence
According to the affidavit, Swilley told investigators the second apartment – which is less than a mile from their primary home – was ‘obtained for the purpose of sex with other parties which they would meet on social media applications’
When Swilley was told a body had been found, the detective wrote there was ‘no visible emotional reaction’ and when interviewed ‘the defendant was void of any visible sadness or despair.. and joked about being in a police car’.
Of the alleged staged crime scene in the sex den, the officer wrote: ‘The defendant described the victim’s practice of meeting with men from applications as unsafe in nature.’
However, Smith’s cell phone was analyzed, added the detective.
‘This included a review of social dating applications which the victim was purported to use in meeting with other men. The data did not show any established meet-ups at the time of the victim’s death,’ he wrote.
Pinder also wrote he ‘learned of historical physical violence’ reported by a person whose name was redacted. ‘Specifically the victim had been seen with bruises and black eyes after altercations with the defendant.
‘The victim was described as the ‘bread winner’ and the defendant ‘never pulled it together’.’
He said Smith would have been ‘extremely drowsy if awake at all’ with an ‘extremely high dose (2,000 nanograms per milliliter) of Diphenhydramine’, a component of allergy remedies and known to make users drowsy even in prescribed amounts.
Pinder wrote it was a ‘reasonable conclusion’ that Swilley dosed his husband and ‘killed him at their primary residence… via strangulation and breaking his neck’ then moved him in Smith’s white Jeep to the second apartment – where he ‘generated a mock crime scene’.
Swilley denied there was any marital problems, saying they enjoyed riding motorcycles together in their leisure time.
However, investigators have claimed Smith was a domestic abuse victim and was planning to move abroad.
Swilley was also the beneficiary of his spouse’s life insurance policy and stood to profit form his death, detectives say.
‘The defendant and victim’s marriage had failed and the relationship was conflicted (conflicting with the statement he provided to writer,’ said Pinder in his affidavit.
‘The defendant has a history of insurance claims and is reported to not be able to afford the residence without the victim. The victim was planning to start a new job and leave which would further complicate the defendant’s financial situation.’
Swilley was named as a prime suspect in August, the same day he posted an eerie happy anniversary message on Facebook.
It read: ‘To my very loving husband. I know you are up there looking down on us. You will always be in my heart and thoughts.’
Referring to his 19-year-old daughter Jordan, who lived with the couple and was deemed a person of interest in August, he continued: ‘Jordan and I will celebrate our anniversary tonight out having dinner.
‘I wish you could be with us here with us in body. Because I know you are here in spirit. To be honest I miss you every day and wish you were here. Life isn’t the same without you.
‘I miss your smile and your loving spirit. To let you know, it’s a very hard day. Because I know we would have had a great celebration.’ He signed off: ‘Love Herby.’
Swilley wrote an eerie ‘Happy Anniversary’ post to his dead lover, the same day investigators named him as a prime suspect in the murder
Timothy Smith, 59, an executive at an assisted living facility in Orlando was drugged before he was allegedly strangled to death by his partner
Swilley also collected more than $2,200 in donations through a GoFundMe page just weeks after Smith’s death to cover expenses for a ‘celebration of life’.
Smith’s body was discovered during a welfare check at the secondary apartment on March 25 after he failed to turn up for work.
His accused husband had told officers he last saw the victim alive at 9:30pm at their primary home on March 23, according to the affidavit.
He told detectives he got up at 4:40am, went to a gym, returned home and was not sure if Smith was in the bed they shared because the lights were off. He then went out to a store and when he got back Smith was missing, he said.
Swilley initially cooperated with police after Smith was found dead by a sheriff’s deputy, but he later refused to help further unless he was given immunity from prosecution.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Zach Moore said at the time: ‘According to Herbert’s attorney, she advised that he would not speak to us and cooperate with this investigation unless he was immune from prosecution for Timothy’s murder.
‘That is not something we can guarantee at this point and we really do need to know what he knows.’
Swilley, wearing a dark red t-shirt and blue denim jeans, was filmed by the sheriff’s office arriving at jail before being processed. He is scheduled for a court date on December 5.