Police investigate connection between bodies, highway chase

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A man accused of leading police on a vehicle chase through South Florida earlier this week might be connected to the bodies of two stabbing victims found on a beach around the time of the pursuit, authorities said Wednesday.

Fort Lauderdale police identified Daniel Santo Dovi, 64, as a person of interest in the double slaying, police spokeswoman Ali Adamson said at a news conference.

Someone called 911 to report the two blood-covered bodies on the beach by Earl Lifshey Park shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday, the Sun Sentinel reported. Officials haven't identified the victims, one of whom appeared to be missing an arm, according to the 911 caller.

A short time later and about a mile to the south, a Jeep Wrangler clipped a Porsche and a golf cart before leading more than a dozen police officers on a nearly 20-mile (32-kilometer) chase. It ended when a state trooper's patrol car clipped the Jeep and caused it to spin out and flip over on Interstate 95. Police said they pulled Dovi from the Jeep after the crash.

Investigators deemed Dovi a person of interest in the fatal stabbings because they found several edged weapons and freshly-washed clothing in his Jeep. He has been charged with eight counts related to the vehicle chase, but he hasn't been charged in the stabbing.

The Broward Public Defender’s Office, which is representing Dovi, wouldn't comment on the case.

A man identifying himself as Dovi’s younger brother, Chris, attended a Wednesday hearing remotely and told the judge that Dovi had a history of mental illness and hadn't been taken his medications for a year.

Dovi was being held in the Broward County jail on $97,000 bond.