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Prominent Tarpon couple dies in murder-suicide

The parents and daughter of Genevieve Crosby were on the trip.

The parents and daughter of Genevieve Crosby were on the trip.

TARPON SPRINGS — Residents are shocked by the deaths of a locally prominent couple.

Tarpon Springs Cultural Center marketing director Genevieve Crosby was shot by her husband Monday in a murder-suicide, the Sevier County (Tenn.) Sheriff's Office said.

Crosby, 48, and her husband, Richard, 52, were staying with family in a rental cabin near the Smoky Mountains between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, sheriff's spokesman Capt. Jeff McCarter said. Deputies were called there about 11 a.m.

Richard Crosby had a single gunshot wound and died before paramedics arrived. His wife, shot multiple times, died in an ambulance, McCarter said.

Genevieve Crosby's parents, June and Daniel Fox, 85 and 82, respectively, were inside the cabin at the time but did not see the shooting, McCarter said. Neither did Crosby's 21-year-old daughter, Alexandra Haley. Crosby also has a teenage son who was not in Tennessee.

Kathleen Monahan, the Tarpon Springs cultural and civic services director who supervised Genevieve Crosby, called her a "model employee."

When Crosby started working for Monahan in 2004, her job was strictly marketing and communications for the cultural center. But over the years, Crosby started connecting more with local theater directors, becoming a catalyst for boosting Tarpon's arts scene, Monahan said.

Director Jamie Bierchen saw Crosby's enthusiasm when he staged The Boy Friend at Tarpon's performing arts center in April. The play was particularly special for her since her father served as music director and band leader.

"Whenever she'd be at rehearsals or she'd have to do any publicity shots you'd just see the sparkle in her eyes, the smile on her face," Bierchen said.

Always eager to pick up new skills, Crosby was on track to earn her master's of public administration in December, Monahan said.

Richard Crosby had been an information technology systems analyst with the University of Tampa since April 2013, a school spokesman said. Previously, he worked in IT for the city of Tarpon Springs.

Monahan said Richard Crosby had been nice to her when they met. Genevieve never mentioned marital problems to her, she said.

"If there were any issues, she never let it show in her work," Monahan said.

The couple married in 2011. Tarpon Springs police Chief Robert Kochen said officers never received calls to the Crosby home regarding domestic violence.

"As far as I know, (Richard Crosby) was a good employee," said Mayor David Archie. "He was always personable with me. I don't think that anybody saw this coming. It's just heartbreaking."

Former mayors Anita Protos and Beverley Billiris both knew Genevieve Crosby and lauded her work ethic.

Billiris described her as outgoing, with a particular eye for handling complex public relations situations.

"I think her shoes are going to be very hard to fill," Billiris said.

Archie said the whole city will feel her loss, and community members are already leaning on each other for support.

"It's like a piece of you gets snatched out," Archie said, "and it takes awhile for the healing."

Times staff writer Claire Wiseman and news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Julie Kliegman at jkliegman@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4159. Follow @jmkliegman.

Prominent Tarpon couple dies in murder-suicide 08/12/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:12pm]
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