PORT ORANGE, Fla. — Police are asking for the public's help in finding a suspect in connection to the "extremely violent" death of a woman.

  • Thomas 'Tommy' McMullen Jr. sought in homicide of woman
  • Diana Kessler found Monday, was stabbed more than 100 times
  • Police: McMullen is a friend of Kessler's, may still be in east Volusia

Diana Kessler, 32, was found dead in a home -- which was not her own -- on the 5900 block of Hatteras Drive on Monday evening.

Her body was discovered by the Hatteras Drive homeowners' cat sitter, as the homeowners were reportedly away on vacation. 

Her body had more than 100 stab wounds, and there was blunt force trauma to her head, a preliminary autopsy found. Port Orange Police said there were also wounds on Kessler's extremities that indicate she tried to defend herself against an "extremely violent and prolonged event."

Whoever committed the act tried also to conceal what happened, investigators said.

Thomas "Tommy" McMullen Jr., a friend of Kessler's, is considered a suspect in the homicide case. He's thought to be about 5-foot-11, 180 pounds and in his late 30s.

Investigators think he's still in the east Volusia County area. They say he's a known narcotics user and frequently is seen around the area of International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach.

He was last seen driving a 1998 maroon Buick Regal. It has damage to the driver's side and has the Florida tag M534QE.

McMullen's neighbors who knew him was a boy are pleading with him to come forward. 

"Please turn yourself in, boy, before someone finds you, and takes the wrong steps, and you may lose your life. That would hurt me more than you going away," McMullen's neighbor Concheta March said Wednesday. 

Anyone who has information on his location is urged to call the police department's tip line at 386-506-5878, Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS or police central dispatch at 386-248-1777 or 911.

Reporter Bailey Myers contributed to this story.