Housemates talk about life with Konias
Kenneth Konias Jr. was captured at this house at 603 SW Eighth St. in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Kenneth Konias Jr., left, is accused of killing Michael Haines, right
Kenneth Konias stayed in this small room in Pompano Beach, Fla.
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POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- No matter where Kenneth Konias Jr.'s peripatetic journeys took him during his two months in Florida on the run from the law, once he took a room at 603 SW Eighth St., he had found a home.
It was just a 100-square-foot room inside a dingy four-bedroom house in this city's tough Cypress neighborhood, with kitchen privileges, a shared bathroom and cable TV. He carried few clothes, his possessions apparently limited to the black duffel bag he jealously guarded.
What made it home for the 22-year-old Dravosburg man were the women who lived there with him: two prostitutes named Emily and Summer. A fourth roommate, 27-year-old Leon Flowers, lived there, and, occasionally, Mr. Flowers' mother, Shewona.
It was an unlikely group. By day, Emily and Summer turned tricks at local motels. Mr. Flowers took care of his 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. And Mr. Konias sat on an estimated $1.3 million to $1.5 million of the more than $2 million he has been accused of stealing.
Additionally, there were many other frequent visitors to the house, including two other members of the Flowers family, brothers John and Edward. A fifth Flowers, Richard, sublets the rooms.
Mr. Konias met one of these women, Summer -- a petite woman with a girlish voice and heavily tattooed limbs -- when he answered an online advertisement for her services.
The two rendezvoused at a nearby motel earlier this month, either April 12 or 13, Ms. Flowers said. He called again for a date three or four days later, according to Ms. Flowers. That time, he came home with her and moved into the house.
Ms. Flowers, who Summer sometimes confided in and called Momma, was incredulous that she would allow a client to move in.
"Why'd you move him in? He could be police or an undercover," she said she asked Summer. Summer replied by rubbing her thumb and index finger together: money.
If Mr. Konias was hoping to stay unnoticed, he chose a curious location. He, Emily and Summer were some of a very small number of whites on a street populated primarily by African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians. He often remained secluded in his room, rarely conversing with Leon Flowers or interacting with the two young children.
But he did venture out occasionally. A manager at a Florida Best Storage just a block from where Mr. Konias was found in Pompano Beach said she saw him sometime in the past two months. He was drawn in after seeing an advertisement for a $27 unit.
He left an impression because he acted strangely, said the manager, Shaquanna. She declined to give her last name.
"He was fidgety. He was in a rush," she said. He never sat down and walked back and forth to the door before taking off before she could give him a tour.
He never rented a storage locker there, but authorities said he did rent a space somewhere nearby where he stored some of his fortune, walking back and forth from the home on SW Eighth Street to get cash.
The two prostitutes are well known in the area by community members and merchants. They, along with others, walk the Dixie Highway, a busy thoroughfare just a half block away.
Both lived at the house on SW Eighth Street. According to Ms. Flowers, he paid both at different times for sex, within days of moving in with Summer. Ms. Flowers said the two first met on April 12 or 13.
According to Ms. Flowers, her brother John takes in homeless prostitutes and puts a roof over their heads. She said he serves as a pimp for Emily and Summer.
"He took care of those girls," she said yesterday afternoon, while sitting on a folding chair on the house's front stoop using an overturned bucket as a drink holder while her granddaughter stacked toys on a cinder block in the driveway.
Ms. Flowers said her brother also sets the house rules. Among those are cleaning up after cooking, no turning tricks at the house and washing the tub after bathing.
John Flowers declined to answer questions Wednesday afternoon at the house after arriving in a black CTS Cadillac with tinted windows. He was accompanied by Emily and a woman who calls herself Black Barbie. Black Barbie recently moved into the room formerly shared by Summer and Mr. Konias.
In a brief interview, Emily -- a slim woman with blond streaked hair and a shiny piercing that dots near the outside corner of her left eye -- smiled nervously as she talked about Mr. Konias, referring to him as polite, quiet and neat. She said she was shocked to learn of the accusations against him.
"I never would have thought any of that [stuff]," she said, standing in the front doorway of the house, clad in an inside-out white shirt, pajama pants and furry boots. "He was a really nice guy. He was like 'please,' 'thank you,' that [stuff]."
She asked him few questions about his past.
"He said he was from up north, like me," she said. "I don't get into people's business."
Ms. Flowers served as a sort of housemother. She cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. Sometime when Mr. Konias wanted food, he gave her money to buy groceries and then cook his meals.
According to Ms. Flowers, Mr. Konias gave Emily money for clothes and bought gifts of jewelry for Summer.
"He gave her everything," Ms. Flowers said.
Ms. Flowers said she believed Mr. Konias and Summer were dating.
Summer stopped walking Dixie Highway and stopped dancing after the two met because Mr. Konias paid for everything she wanted.
Emily relayed to Ms. Flowers that Summer had taken off with a suitcase. A man who she used to date picked her up on Dixie Highway, and neither has been seen since.
In the rear bedroom he initially shared with Summer, Mr. Konias kept his duffel bag wedged in a corner by a dresser. According to Ms. Flowers, the two had an argument about a week ago. Mr. Konias locked Summer out of the room, Ms. Flowers said. But Summer broke into the room by removing the air conditioner's accordion panel. Mr. Konias told Ms. Flowers that Summer stole nearly $100,000 from his duffel bag. Because of that, he moved to a front room of the house and vowed to kill her if he ever saw her again.
But Summer hasn't been seen since. Repeated attempts to find her were not successful.
Mr. Konias would not spend more than a week in his new room at the front of the house. Just after midnight on Tuesday, he surrendered meekly to local and federal law enforcement agents who had converged on the house after having received a tip.
First Published April 26, 2012 12:09 am