Clearwater teen dead, 41 y/o arrested in case

Posted at 12:39 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 17:33:07-04

A 16-year-old Clearwater girl rescued from a prostitution ring last year died after using IV drugs with a 41-year-old man and then having sex with him at his Clearwater home, police say.

Destiny Souza died at Morton Plant Hospital.

According to police, Souza met Alex Nichols on the Pinellas Trail and willingly went back to Nichols' residence on SunnyDale Avenue around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.  His home backs up to the trail.

An arrest affidavit states both Nichols and Souza used a syringe to inject Dilaudid, a powerful pain killer.  Police say the prescription drug belonged to Nichols.

Then, the two engaged in consensual sexual intercourse, police said.

Sometime after, Souza went into medical distress and Nichols reportedly called 911.

Souza was taken to the hospital.

Nichols told detectives he believed Souza was 19-years-old, an affidavit says.

"A 41-year-old responsible adult who comes upon a 16-year-old girl, even if he believes she is older, it is his responsibility to get help for her, not take advantage of her," said Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter.

Nichols is currently charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor and delivery of a controlled substance to a person under 18 years of age.

He is being held on $120,000 bond.

Last June, Souza was rescued from a West Palm Beach motel where police say a man was selling her for sex.

Souza's mom spoke to ABC Action News affiliate WPTV.

Souza's mother said her daughter was a gifted gymnast who fell in with the wrong crowd and began using drugs.

Clearwater Police say Souza had a history of running away and drug use.


An incident report filed with Clearwater Police shows Nichols has been questioned in a similar death investigation involving his long-time girlfriend.

Back in January, Nichols reportedly called 911 when he found his girlfriend unresponsive.

Police say Nichols admitted to going on a prescription drug binge with his girlfriend, both of them taking Xanax, when the girlfriend failed to wake up January 16.

That incident occurred at 1603 Algonquin Drive.

According to the incident report, both Nichols and his girlfriend had been prescribed methadone and Xanax.

Nichols reportedly told investigators he and his girlfriend "both tended to overmedicate themselves."

On scene, investigators say they found a prescription for Xanax that had been filled on December 30, 2015.  The prescription was for 60 tablets and the bottle was empty.

An additional 25 prescription pill bottles, also belonging to the couple, were found inside the home, an incident report states.