Two men were found dead inside a Miami Beach Hotel at the former home of Gianni Versace, one day before the 24th anniversary of the Italian fashion designer's murder. Interestingly, Versace was killed outside his home, exactly the same place, 24 years ago on July 15, 1997.
Police believe the two men died by suicide. An investigation has been launched into the incident and the staff is cooperating with local authorities in the ongoing investigation.
Police and fire and rescue units found the bodies of the two men in a room at The Villa Casa Casuarina after receiving a call from the hotel's housekeeping, Miami Beach police said. The two victims were identified as Adam Rashap, 31, of Randolph, New Jersey, and Alexander Gross, 30, of York, Pennsylvania, police said. Authorities said preliminary investigation revealed the deaths to be "an apparent double suicide," according to public information officer Ernesto Rodriguez.
"We are heartbroken by tragic events at the Villa Casa Casuarina," a police statement read. Police have launched an investigation and they are questioning the hotel's staff. So far, the employees are cooperating.
"At this time, the scene is contained to the hotel room and detectives have launched a death investigation," police said. Although believed to be suicide, the ultimate cause of death will be determined by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office, Rodriguez said.
The incident took place just a day before the death anniversary of Versace, who was brutally killed outside his home 24 years back.
The hotel, which was earlier a residence place, has an interesting history. The building was constructed in 1930 and Versace purchased the mansion in 1992. On July 15, 1997, Versace, who was only 50 years old at that time, was shot in the head on the steps of his mansion Andrew Cunanan, a serial killer. Cunanan killed Versace while he was returning home from the News Cafe, a few blocks away.
Later, investigations revealed that Cunanan had killed four other men in different parts of the United States over a period of nearly three months. Cunanan died by suicide eight days later after killing Versace and his body was with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"There was no suicide note and no correspondence to reflect why he committed the crimes,â³ the then-Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Barreto had said that time.
In the mid-1990s, Versace along with Giorgio Armani, was believed to be Italy's leading ready-to-wear designer and a symbol of Italian fashion.