Palm Harbor Sisters Killed Their Father, Deputies Say
Both women admitted to the 2015 murder, Pinellas deputies said.
PALM HARBOR – Two sisters admitted “euthanizing” their father in 2015 because he was going to die soon and would not live in an assisted living facility, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Linda Roberts, 61, and Mary-Beth Tomaselli, 63, were each charged with one count of First Degree Murder in the March 6, 2015 death of Anthony Tomaselli, 85. All are from Palm Harbor.
Deputies said they were called to a residence on Nottingham Close in Palm Harbor at about 5:53 a.m. March 6, 2015 for a report of a deceased man.
Paramedics told deputies that Mr. Tomaselli, was found unresponsive and that they had tried CPR. Paramedics pronounced him dead at about 5:50 a.m. There did not appear to be any foul play or criminal activity.
Deputies reported that Roberts and Tomaselli were present at the residence. The sisters were interviewed separately by deputies and both said their father fell asleep on the couch the night prior and when they went to check on him in the morning, he was not breathing. The sisters said they tried CPR and called 911.
During the death investigation, deputies said they found that Mr. Tomaselli had an extensive medical history and his primary care physician agreed to sign the death certificate. The physician listed the cause of death as natural because of Mr. Tomaselli’s advanced age and medical history.
On Feb., detectives from the Robbery/Homicide Unit were contacted by a man who said he had a relationship with Roberts and Tomaselli. Detectives said he told them he had a recording of Roberts confessing to murdering her father in 2015.
The man gave detectives the recording with Roberts’ confession and agreed to help deputies get additional recorded statements from both Roberts and Tomaselli about the killing of their father.
According to detectives, both women were recorded saying that the killing was “premeditated” and that they “euthanized” their father because he was going to die within a couple months and would not live in an assisted living facility. Their initial plan was to give him alcohol and an excessive amount of sleeping pills, but when that was not effective, they first attempted to suffocate him by placing a pillow over his face. When that did not work, they stuffed a rag down his throat, pinched his nose, and held his arms down until he stopped breathing and died.
Tomaselli said she also gave her adult daughter, who was at the residence that night, sleeping pills so she would not be awake to witness the killing of her grandfather.
The women said they “faked” finding their father deceased on March 6, 2015, and staged providing him CPR and calling 911 for help.
After their father’s death, deputies said, the women sold their father’s home and split the proceeds with their brother, who was not involved in the murder.
Deputies arrested the sisters about 11 a.m. Tuesday (March 5). They said both admitted to the charges during their interviews.
Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the case. To view the press conference, go to youtu.be/C7YCATfOf2E.
Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Murder | Arrests | Tampabay News
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