MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. (TCD) -- A 34-year-old man was sentenced to three consecutive life terms in prison in connection to the death of a missing woman whose body was found in a septic tank in March.
On March 5, Cynthia Cole’s body was found in her backyard after authorities dug through the night, and Keoki Hilo Demich was identified as a suspect. He was arrested and initially charged with second-degree murder.
In a statement obtained by the Treasure Coast Palm, Assistant State Attorney Nita Denton said Demich went to Cole’s home with the intention to rob and kill her, but she was not there. He reportedly waited until she was home and hid in the shower. Denton said Demich slammed Cole into the front door and allegedly sexually battered her, drowned her, abused her again, and put Cole in the septic tank.
According to the Treasure Coast Palm, an autopsy revealed Cole’s death was a homicide caused by blunt force injuries to the head, torso, and extremities. There were reportedly lacerations on her head. Cole’s nose was fractured, and multiple ribs were broken. Cole also allegedly suffered contusions on her arms, thighs, and leg, and there was evidence of asphyxia.
Demich, who worked as a handyman for Cole, was reportedly found guilty of first-degree murder, burglary of an occupied dwelling with assault or battery, sexual battery with great force, grand theft, and grand theft of a motor vehicle.
On Tuesday, Aug. 16, Demich was sentenced to three consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole, the Treasure Coast Palm reports.