Brooke Preston was leaving West Palm Beach, Fla., to return to Pennsylvania, where she grew up. The 21-year-old had moved out of the house she shared with Randy Herman Jr., 24, and went there Saturday morning to say goodbye. She hugged Herman, and then Herman, who also grew up in Pennsylvania and reportedly went to high school with Preston, gave her a T-shirt commemorating a mutual friend who had died. Then, police say, he stabbed her a dozen times with a hunting knife. "Herman told me that all he could remember after giving Preston the T-shirt was blood," a detective wrote in the arrest report. Preston died, and Herman, who drove her car to a nearby park after the alleged murder and called 911 from there, has been charged with first-degree murder, the Palm Beach Post reports.
A friend says Preston had spent part of Friday night at the house with Herman—there is no indication they were romantically linked—but left because he was intoxicated and acting oddly. She returned the next morning to get her things, then went to breakfast and returned again later to say goodbye. She was moving back home to be with her boyfriend, WNEP reports. Herman allegedly told police that since he and Preston were the only ones in the home at the time, he must have stabbed her; police say they found him covered in blood and found Preston's body covered with a blanket. Herman's father was accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend in 2015; two months later, he fatally shot himself. A GoFundMe campaign for Preston's family has raised more than $10,000 so far.