Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Husband arrested in Belleair killing

Cataneo is seen on a store’s surveillance footage in December in Baton Rouge, La. His wife’s body was found Nov. 28 in Belleair.

Special to the Times

Cataneo is seen on a store’s surveillance footage in December in Baton Rouge, La. His wife’s body was found Nov. 28 in Belleair.

BELLEAIR — A man accused of killing his wife in wealthy Belleair, then hop-scotching across the country to evade capture was arrested Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Federal marshals arrested Ryan Michael Cataneo, 40, after he had checked in to the Wild Wild West, a small casino-hotel a few blocks off the Las Vegas strip, said Assistant Chief Deputy Marshal Javier Jimenez.

Jimenez would not say how marshals found Cataneo, except to call it "good old-fashioned detective work." He did not know how long Cataneo had been in town, or what he was doing there. But the Belleair flooring installer is far from the first murder defendant to visit Las Vegas.

"We find a lot of fugitives for some reason think they can hide here," Jimenez said. "They think because it's Sin City they can get lost. For some, it's just a last hurrah."

Cataneo and his wife, Deana, 39, met in high school, relatives said. Records show they were married in Key West in March.

Deana Cataneo owned a business that installed rubber floors for playgrounds, which the couple ran from their rented home near the Intracoastal Waterway in Belleair, one of Pinellas County's wealthiest towns. Belleair has a population of less than 5,000 and experiences little violent crime.

Deana Cataneo was found dead Nov. 28 after relatives visiting for Thanksgiving couldn't reach her or her husband, Pinellas sheriff's officials said.

Concerned, the relatives went looking for Bob Green, the caretaker for the couple's house at 7 Baybrook Place. Green used his key to let them in through the back door. The home was unusually cool, Green said afterward.

The stepmother called Deana's name and stepped into the bedroom. Then she screamed. The father yelled for Green to dial 911. Green said Deana Cataneo's body was on the bed under a sheet.

Detectives said she died from "homicidal violence," but have offered no details.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Bordner would not answer questions about the case late Tuesday.

Detectives learned Cataneo was last seen in Louisiana three days before his wife's body was discovered.

He was seen in Marrero, La., on Nov. 25 and then in Jefferson Parish the next day. Then, in December, he showed up on a store's surveillance footage in Baton Rouge.

Detectives got a warrant for his arrest, but could not find him until this week. Jail records show Cataneo was being held without bail at the Clark County jail in Nevada. An extradition hearing is set for Thursday.

Cataneo has no prior criminal record in Florida. But a 1987 Los Angeles Times article and court records suggest that when he was 19, Cataneo was one of three teens accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. How that case was resolved remains unclear.

Times staff researchers Carolyn Edds and Caryn Baird contributed to this story.

Husband arrested in Belleair killing 01/06/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 1:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack


    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath


    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.