The 19-year-old Florida State University sophomore accused of fatally stabbing a couple and trying to eat one victim’s face is suffering organ failure, his father tells PEOPLE.
Since his alleged August 15 attack, Austin Harrouff has been a patient at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he remains in critical but stable condition, the Martin County sheriff’s office tells PEOPLE.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Dr. Wade Harrouff, a dentist, tells PEOPLE his son’s liver is failing, his lungs are filling with fluid and he is experiencing esophageal bleeding. Doctors are planning to do an MRI on Harrouff Wednesday afternoon, after which “we should know more,” the elder Harrouff adds.
When asked whether his son is expected to recover, Harrouff says, “I can’t get a prognosis from anybody, so I just don’t know. His organs are shutting down, and I’m hoping we learn a lot more about his condition today.”
Police allege that after the killings, Harrouff consumed unspecified chemicals he found in the couple’s garage. Doctors say he has injuries consistent with caustic chemical consumption.
His father also tells PEOPLE that Harrouff’s current medical condition likely resulted from his alleged ingestion of the hazardous materials.
Police have speculated that Harrouff may have been under the influence of the synthetic drug flakka at the time of the alleged attack.
Harrouff tested negative for common street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, but more extensive testing, which might take up to three weeks, is being performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine whether Harrouff was under the influence of bath salts or flakka.
In YouTube videos uploaded four days prior to the incident, Harrouff, a former high school athlete, is seen discussing steroid use without saying he takes them. In other clips, Harrouff appears to lift weights and makes references to himself as “The God of Fitness.” Harrouff wrote on YouTube page believed to be his, “I’ve got a psycho side and a normal side,” and “I’ve lost my mind help me find it.”
His father insists his son didn’t do steroids, saying, “He always took pride in not being on steroids.”
The elder Harrouff adds his son’s legal bills have surpassed $100,000.
John Stevens, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, were found dead after the alleged attack in the garage of their Tequesta home. Officers allegedly had to pull Harrouff off of Stevens. As he was allegedly biting Stevens, officers kicked Harrouff in the face several times, with no effect, police said.
According to police, Harrouff was allegedly biting Stevens’ face and had bitten into his abdomen.
Stevens’ garage contained several solvents and other dangerous solutions, such as paint thinners and chemical cleansers. Police say they don’t know why Harrouff might have allegedly consumed the chemicals.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Once he is released from the hospital, Harrouff will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder as well as attempted first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing the couple’s neighbor, 47-year-old Jeff Fisher, who tried fending off the couple’s alleged attacker, police say.
He also faces burglary and resisting arrest charges, police say.
Police say they are still trying to determine a motive for Harrouff’s alleged attack.
During a press briefing Tuesday, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder confirmed Harrouff sustained an “extremely deep” laceration to his right hand that nearly severed his thumb during the alleged attack. He said it appears the injury allegedly occurred as Harrouff’s hand slipped and slid down a knife as he plunged it into one of his victims.
Harrouff’s parents issued a statement over the weekend, expressing their condolences to the victims. “There are no words we can offer to give any real comfort for this tragic loss,” the statement reads. “There are no words we can offer that we can make up for the injury sustained by Jeff Fisher who is doing what we would want all good neighbors to do which was to try to help innocent people from being hurt or killed.”
On Friday, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office released video showing Harrouff walking out of the Duffy’s Restaurant in Jupiter, Florida, the night of the attack.
It is unclear whether Harrouff has retained legal counsel.