Missing Mother Found Dead in Florida Canal, Family Friend Charged with Premeditated Murder

Police say the suspect, Eric William Westerguard, led them to the body of Perrin Damron

Perrin Damron
Photo: Martin County Sheriff’s Office

A Florida man has been accused of murdering a 23-year-old mom — and authorities say he led them to her body in a nearby canal.

Perrin Damron, 23, was last seen on Friday night when the father of her 2-year-old child came by her house to pick up the toddler, TC Palm reports.

The following day, a friend of Damron's contacted police. The friend told deputies that they had planned to spend time together that day, but that Damron didn't show up — and had uncharacteristically not responded to calls and texts.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Martin County Sheriff Williams Snyder said that investigators checked Damron's doorbell camera and learned that Eric William Westerguard, 45, had come to her home shortly after the child's father left. Westerguard and Damron allegedly left the home together.

The investigation moved to Palm Beach County, were Westerguard lives. Detectives interviewed him and learned that he is a family friend on her mother's side.

Eric William Westerguard
Martin County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Snyder told reporters that Westerguard "made incriminating statements" and "evidence was found at his house."

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"Ultimately, the suspect led us to the overpass over the Okeechobee Waterway at 710 coming into Indiantown," Snyder told reporters. "Our detectives, along with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and our marine control assets, recovered Ms. Damron's body."

Autopsy reports are pending, Fox News reports. Police have not discussed a motive in the case.

"We would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming expression of support and prayers for the safe recovery of Ms. Damron," the Martin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this case did not end as we all had hoped."

PEOPLE confirms that Westerguard has been booked into Palm Beach County Jail without bond. He is charged with premeditated first-degree murder. He has not yet entered a plea and court records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf.

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