Neighbor says couple killed by Austin Harrouff treated her like family

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 12:15 AM EST
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When Debi Borger moved to Florida back in 2006, she was introduced to John and Michelle Stevens, a loving couple who had taken her in and treated her like family.

"They were always happy, and they were always in love with each other," she said. "And they were always affectionate with each other and always having fun and so generous, like John would never let me pay for anything."

The couple's garage on Kokomo Lane in Martin County is where Borger spent her weekends and just about every holiday celebration.

"You never went to the garage empty handed. You either brought a dish or brought a bottle of wine for Christmas or Hanukkah bought decorations to add to the garage," Borger said.

However, six years ago the fun times and valuable lessons learned came to a screeching halt.

"I just lost two of the most important people I've ever had in my entire life," Borger said.

The Stevens died when they were viciously killed during a random attack inside that very same garage by Austin Harrouff, who was 19 at the time.

A judge found him not guilty by reason of insanity Monday and ordered him to a mental health facility, a decision Borger is still trying to comprehend.

"It was just surreal. I just couldn't believe how somebody could murder two people and attempt to murder a third, who was also a good friend of ours, and get away with it," Borger said.

The wounds from the loss are still fresh and all she has now are precious memories.

"We're never going to get that back," Borger said. "So, what's next for me is I'm sitting here right now looking at Michelle's ashes in a jar. That's what's next for me every day, every day. They're right there. That's what's next."

The Stevens were married for 20 years, and they're survived by their two adult children.

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