Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Deputies: Indian Rocks Beach man killed wife, kept body in bathtub for two weeks

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — A 59-year-old woman found dead in her home Thursday night was smothered to death two weeks ago, and her husband will be charged with killing her, Pinellas County sheriff's deputies said Friday.

The investigation began when deputies arrived at 1916 First St. just after 6:30 p.m. Thursday in response to a 911 call by David R. Ernst, 45.

Ernst told deputies that he was suicidal and had taken medications in an attempt to end his life, sheriff's officials said. He was then taken to a hospital for treatment.

Inside the home, deputies found Darlene M. Mayfield's body in the bathtub. It was so badly decomposed that they could not immediately identify her or make out any signs of trauma, deputies said.

Deputies said Ernst later admitted to killing her during an argument, then placing her in the bathtub.

Ernst was taken to a local hospital, where he was guarded by deputies while he received treatment. Pinellas County Jail records show he was booked on a charge of second-degree murder late Friday night.

Deputies: Indian Rocks Beach man killed wife, kept body in bathtub for two weeks 07/22/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 22, 2011 11:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Battle of the Sexes' is a fine time capsule comedy, and not really about the tennis


    In 1973, tennis champion Billie Jean King joined a two-ring circus with hustler Bobby Riggs, billed as a Battle of the Sexes amid the women's liberation movement. Fifty million Americans watched the pop spectacle on TV.

    Emma Stone and Steve Carell in the film "Battle of the Sexes." [Fox Searchlight Pictures.]
  2. Hillsborough will not add extra days for storm


    Public school students in Hillsborough County do not have to come to school for additional days to make up for time missed in Hurricane Irma, the district announced Monday.

  3. Tom Cruise's son Connor Cruise to DJ Halloween party at Tampa's Hard Rock Cafe


    Whenever Tom Cruise comes to Clearwater on Church of Scientology business, he keeps a low profile. Occasionally he'll Connor Cruise attended Wild 94.1 Wild Splash in 2016.

  4. Bicyclist struck in St. Petersburg dies as result of injuries


    ST. PETERSBURG — A bicyclist who police said ran a red light and was struck by a car last week died over the weekend.

  5. Eight Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations


    At least eight Florida Gators face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud, according to Alachua County court records.

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.