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. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]