A North Carolina man is behind bars after police say he drugged and raped a woman in Florida before stealing her credit card, but his aunt claims he “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 21-year-old Christine Englehardt, of Pennsylvania, died on Thursday inside her hotel room at the Albion Hotel in Miami Beach. Her death is being investigated as a homicide. Police arrested Evoire Collier, 21, and Dorian Taylor, 24, both of Greensboro, North Carolina, in connection with Englehardt’s death.
Collier reportedly told his family that he was going to the Miami area to pursue a music career.
According to court documents, the suspects are accused of drugging Engelhardt, then raping her inside her hotel room. First responders found the victim alone, semi-naked, and unresponsive after hotel staff called 911. They rushed her to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Investigators obtained security footage that ultimately led to the suspects. According to the Miami Herald, police first found Collier on Ocean Drive at Eighth Street, wearing the same pants he wore while on security footage at the Albion Hotel.
Collier reportedly admitted to investigators that he “met a girl” at a restaurant. The suspect said he later walked down Ocean Drive with Taylor and the victim, and saw Taylor give Englehardt a “green pill.”
During a Monday morning bond hearing, Miami Beach Detective Luis Alsinae told the court that Collier thought the pill may have been Percocet.
“It’s devastating. My thought was praying for her family because I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” Collier’s aunt, Tanda Collier, told the Miami Herald. “He’s a good kid. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
According to court testimony, this is the first time Collier has been in legal trouble. Family members are blaming his alleged partner in crime, Taylor, for having a bad influence over Collier. They said Collier recently moved into an apartment with Taylor in Greensboro, prior to the Miami trip.
“He definitely was in the company of this older guy who could possibly influence him,” Long said. “He wasn’t hanging out with his [usual] friends.”
“He’s an honest person. He’s gullible … he’s not some monster. He wasn’t a predator.”
Collier confessed he walked to the victim’s hotel room with Taylor, with the intention of having sex with her. Alsinae testified during a bond hearing on Monday that security footage on the night in question showed Taylor holding the victim from behind because she was too intoxicated to walk straight.
“She was actually staggering a little bit, and at one point co-defendant Taylor held her, behind her, around her neck, basically keeping her stable. We believe she was either intoxicated or drugged, and she could not give consent for them to actually go with her,” Alsinae said.
While Collier explained his side of the story to investigators, Long claimed that Taylor said nothing to authorities, while his public defender declined to comment.
“Dorian is a seasoned criminal. He knew damn well not to speak,” Long said.
Collier’s arraignment date is set for April 5, but no date has been set yet for Taylor. Jail reports indicate that Collier is currently on suicide watch. Both men remain behind bars without bond.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family is making arrangements for the funeral and burial. Family members said Englehardt was an only child who was studying nursing at a community college while working at a pizza shop. She lived with her parents in Richboro, Pennsylvania, and appeared to love animals and running, according to her Facebook page.
Englehardt traveled alone to Florida for Spring Break, but it wasn’t unusual since “it wasn’t out of character for her to want to explore alone,” friend Samantha DiFrancesco said. It’s unknown why she specifically chose Florida as her destination.
“Anyone who knows this beautiful girl knows that she had the biggest heart there was and her laugh was nothing short of memorable,” DiFrancesco said on a GoFundMe fundraiser page for the victim. “She would do anything for a person in need and was always fun to be around no matter what.”
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[Feature Photo: Christine Englehardt/Facebook]