Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Deputies find Sun City couple dead in apparent murder-suicide

SUN CITY — Authorities said Tuesday that they don't know why a Sun City man shot and killed his wife before he shot and killed himself.

Hillsborough sheriff's deputies found the bodies of Lucy and Jay Pruett in their bedroom Monday night at 726 Ojai Ave. Both were 58. Each died from a gunshot to the head.

"There didn't seem to be any motive," said Debbie Carter, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. "Family members didn't know why that would've happened."

Deputies arrived at the house about 10:30 p.m. with relatives and a friend of the couple after a call for a welfare check. Their daughter and friend had not heard from the Pruetts in two days.

Daughter Julie Wills said she hopes her mother rests in peace. They also have a son, Sean Pruett, living in California.

"My mother was a loving, kind person. She wouldn't hurt a fly. She never did," Wills, 36, said. "She was the best person in this whole world. The sweetest thing in the world. And she didn't deserve that."

There were no prior law enforcement calls to the couple's house, Carter said.

The couple was married for 40 years, said Travis Bunn, Lucy's brother.

"We're still in shock, you know. It just happened last night," Bunn said. "She was loved by everybody."

She was an outgoing, fun-loving woman from Bryan, Texas, Bunn said. She moved to Biloxi, Miss., with Jay, who eventually retired from the Air Force. She also worked in the offices at Keesler Air Force Base.

They moved two years ago to Florida to be closer to their daughter, Wills, and their three grandchildren in Wesley Chapel.

They started renting the home on Ojai Avenue just over a year ago. She played bingo at a nearby community hall and won just a few weeks ago. She enjoyed reading and watching old movies.

Construction was scheduled to begin this week for a house the couple planned in Wesley Chapel or Zephyrhills, Bunn said.

"She seemed to be very happy," Bunn, 60, said. Bunn declined to comment on Lucy's husband, Jay.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Ileana Morales can be reached at (813) 226-3386 or

Deputies find Sun City couple dead in apparent murder-suicide 12/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  3. Man injured when small helicopter crashes into Odessa home


    ODESSA — A small manned helicopter crashed into the roof of a house in northwest Hillsborough County on Monday, injuring a pilot, officials said.

    Rescuers respond to a crash of a small helicopter on the roof of a home in the Odessa area on Monday. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  4. State investigation cites multiple failures in death of Largo child


    LARGO — It was sweltering in the bedroom of the Largo mobile home the day a child welfare case manager visited in July.

    Liz Rutenbeck, 24, poses with her son William in a Facebook photo. Baby William Hendrickson IV died while his mother was in jail after police said his father left ihim in a sweltering room.  A state investigation into the boy's death found multiple failures on the part of the child welfare system.
  5. 'Siesta Key' star punched in face, not sure who did it


    TAMPA —Alex Kompothecras, cast member on MTV's reality show "Siesta Key," tells police he was punched in the face outside a bar in Tampa's SoHo district.

    Alex Kompothecras, Juliette Porter, Pauly Apostolides, Madisson Hausburg, Chloe Trautman, Garrett Miller, Kelsey Owens and Brandon Gomes pose for a photo in Siesta Key in June before the debut of the MTV reality series Siesta Key. [
EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]