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Man Who Tried to Bite Murder Victim’s Face Off Is Recovering in Hospital, Police Say

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The 19-year-old college student who tried to bite a man’s face off after allegedly killing a married couple in Florida is now in stable condition after fighting for his life, according to authorities who continue to seek answers as to what prompted the vicious attack.

Austin Harrouff, a Florida State University student, is now conscious but is unable to speak because he’s connected to a breathing tube, Trisha Kukuvka, a spokeswoman for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office told TIME on Wednesday.

Authorities served a search warrant Tuesday to gather more blood, hair and DNA samples from Harrouff, who is accused of fatally stabbing and beating John Stevens, 59, and his 53-year-old wife Michelle Mishcon as the couple sat inside the garage Monday night. Both were stabbed multiple times and sustained “massive trauma” to their bodies, according to authorities.

The “inexplicable” and incredibly violent assault may have been sparked by drug use, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said. However, the suspect tested negative for use of cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana and opioid.

The results of additional blood work to determine if hallucinogen drugs, like bath salts of flakka, played a role in the double murder could take up to three weeks, Kukuvka said.

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