Detectives not rushing investigation into Masaryktown couple's slaying

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County sheriff's detectives Tuesday were continuing to analyze evidence and interview two suspects who have been linked to the October 2006 slayings of an elderly Masaryktown couple.

A distant relative of the couple, David Alexander Bostick, 18, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Patrick and Evelyn DePalma.

In an interview with detectives Thursday, Bostick said he and two other unidentified men went to the couple's secluded home in rural Masaryktown on the weekend before Halloween 2006.

"We know who they are," said Sgt. Donna Black, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff's Office. "The case is still ongoing, and there's a lot of other information that we need to look at."

Black declined to release any more information about the other two suspects. Bostick remains in the custody of the state Department of Juvenile Justice in Ocala without bail.

Bostick, a great-great-nephew of the DePalmas and a senior at Freedom High School in Tampa, was arrested after telling authorities how he and two male friends, one whom the DePalmas knew, were able to get inside the couple's home the night of Oct. 28, 2006.

Bostick and the two individuals with him sat and talked to the couple, authorities said, then one of them asked Bostick to retrieve a phone from the car outside.

When Bostick returned, the DePalmas had been stabbed to death, and one of the men was yelling at the other about his temper, detectives said. The trio then ransacked the home and took some of the couple's belongings, including a vacuum cleaner, a rifle and a stereo.

Detectives were able to link Bostick to the scene through his interview and surveillance photos from a nearby gas station, where the trio stopped minutes after leaving the DePalmas' home.

Black said investigators on Tuesday were continuing to ask the suspects about their accounts of that night and test evidence from the home.

If there are more arrests in the case, Black said, it may take awhile. She said investigators do not consider the suspects to be flight risks.

"It all takes time. We always take this very methodically," she said. "There's no reason to rush at this point."

Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6120.

Detectives not rushing investigation into Masaryktown couple's slaying 04/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2008 10:17am]

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