Terry Hilliard travelled to from his home in Ocala, Florida, to Cocoa to watch in person the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch that took place on Tuesday. The next morning, Hillard was found dead in his hotel room.
Cocoa police found Hilliard, 65, at the Dixie Motel, where he was staying, at around 11am Wednesday, Florida Today reported, after hotel staff called local authorities. Police have ruled it a homicide, but authorities haven't yet released details on the cause of his death.
There is a nationwide search for the murderer, and surveillance video footage identifies a white man in his 20s with dark hair whom police say is a person of interest. Hilliard reportedly arrived at the motel Tuesday night with the man in question.
"The biggest thing right now is we don't know who this person is," Cocoa Police Department Chief Mike Cantaloupe told WFTV 9. "We need to know who this person is. We want to be able to find this person. We don't know what he's capable of."
Police are asking anyone with information about Hilliard's death to call the Central Florida CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). A $US5000 ($6400) reward is being offered in the case.