Two North Carolina men have been arrested and accused of drugging and raping a woman who later died in a room at the Albion Hotel on Miami Beach, police say.
The men, 21-year-old Evoire Collier and 24-year-old Dorian Taylor, also stand accused of stealing the victim's credit cards and cash and using them during their trip to South Beach.
According to arrest records, surveillance footage showed the two men entering the hotel lobby at 1650 James Avenue with the victim, 24-year-old Christine Englehardt of Pennsylvania, at about 1 a.m. on Thursday, March 18, but about a half-hour later they are seen exiting the hotel alone. Both men matched the description given to police and were stopped and detained by detectives Sunday.
One of the Miami Beach detectives on the case testified at the bond hearing and said that based on the surveillance footage, Englehardt appeared to be in no condition to give any kind of consent prior to entering the hotel. He added that one of the defendants actually helped hold her up as they went up to her hotel room. One of her family members told NBC 6 Englehardt traveled to South Florida alone.
Investigators are trying to determine whether the victim's death resulted from a "green pill" the men supplied, but the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday it is conducting further tests, and no cause of death has been determined pending a toxicology report.
The arrests come as Miami Beach officials set up an 8 p.m. curfew and other safety measures in an effort to control the unruly spring break crowds in the area. According to City Manager Raul Aguila, between Feb. 3 and March 21 there have been more than 1,000 arrests in the city, with more than 350 of those for felony offenses, and over 80 seized firearms.
Both Collier and Taylor have been appointed public defenders for the time being. During the bond hearing, Collier's sister pleaded with the judge saying he has never been in trouble before.
"I’m severely bewildered by these charges and accusations against him, but I can attest for his character and I can attest for responsibility of him standing trial for whatever charges," his sister said. "If you please let my brother come home and let our family handle the situation appropriately we will do what ever is necessary that Miami-Dade County asks of us."
Collier and Taylor are facing charges of burglary with battery, petty theft, sexual battery and credit card fraud. If the drug they gave her is proven to have played a role in her death, they could also be facing a manslaughter or murder charge.