CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – After fatally shooting his 24-year-old girlfriend, and leaving her body on a second-floor balcony, Chase Harder was carrying her 3-year-old daughter over his shoulder, and running to a white Mercedes-Benz sports utility vehicle to flee, according to police.
A search for Harder — a detention officer with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department — ensued after the murder on Tuesday night at 9267 Ramblewood Drive, in the MAA Coral Springs rental community, police said.
Jordan Chavez, the girl’s biological father, said Harder, 21, had dropped off his daughter unexpectedly, shortly after 11 p.m., at his apartment in West Palm Beach, and told him that he didn’t know where her mother, Dayanna Hurtado, was after the two got into a fight.
“He had scratches on his arms; he had blood on his feet,” Chavez said in Spanish on Thursday also adding, “My daughter was calling him a ‘Liar!’ and saying he had ‘hurt’ her mother, and she fell to the floor and went to sleep.”
Chavez said he decided to call the police to report what happened and he felt heartbroken at what his daughter said she had witnessed. Coral Springs detectives announced shortly after 12:35 a.m., on Wednesday, that they had a suspect in custody. Harder had surrendered.
“The daughter is only 3 years old and has no insurance, doesn’t go to school, and is confused about the situation. We need your help in these grieving times,” Hurtado’s uncle Edgard Rojas, of Port Saint Lucie, wrote on a GoFundMe page adding that his goal was to send her remains to Peru, where she was born and lived.
Hurtado had reported Harder, a former U.S. Army military police officer, to police on July 30 after he allegedly sent her text messages threatening to kill her, according to the arrest report.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies kept Harder at the Broward County main jail on Thursday in Fort Lauderdale without bond. He appeared in bond court and he was facing charges of premeditated murder and written threats to kill or do bodily injury.
Detective Ali Adamson, a spokeswoman for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, released a statement on Wednesday reporting the city had hired Harder in 2022, and after news of his arrest, decided to place him on administrative leave without pay pending further investigation.
Detectives were asking anyone with information about the case to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.
Related social media
Update - 12:33am: The suspect has been taken into custody.— Coral Springs Police (@CoralSpringsPD) August 16, 2023
Watch the 11 p.m. report on Tuesday
Watch the 6 a.m. report on Wednesday
Watch the 9 a.m. report on Wednesday
Watch the 12 p.m. report on Wednesday
Watch the 6 p.m. report on Wednesday
Watch the 11 p.m. report on Wednesday
Watch the 12 p.m. report on Thursday