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Jewelry, luxury watches found in home of man accused of killing Avila couple

TAMPA — A day after Hector and Debra Rivera were shot to death at their Avila home, deputies searched the suspect's house.

Inside, they found costume jewelry and watches, including a Rolex and a Audemars Piguet.

Their findings are detailed in a search warrant affidavit filed in court this week. What's missing: answers.

Deputies believe Julian Ospina-Florez killed the couple because Debra Rivera accused him and others of stealing about $30,000 worth of items. But it's unclear if the pieces found in his home were indeed stolen.

Deputies won't discuss the evidence. And though Ospina-Florez faces two counts of first-degree murder, he hasn't been charged with theft.

The Riveras were shot to death Jan. 8. Debra was killed inside the home. Her husband, a doctor, was shot outside as he returned from a gathering at a friend's house down the street.

Ospina-Florez said he was attacked by a masked man, tied up and put in a bathroom. When he emerged, he told deputies, the couple had already been shot.

But detectives quickly noticed inconsistencies and started to question him. They found matching, unspent bullets in his car. The gun found at the scene was registered to him.

Ospina-Florez had worked for Debra for about a year, shuttling her around town and helping her with her upscale jewelry and accessories business. The shooting occurred shortly after they returned from a trade show in Sarasota.

Ospina-Florez remains in jail without bail. His next court hearing is Feb. 13.

Times Staff Writer Philip Morgan contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3433.

Jewelry, luxury watches found in home of man accused of killing Avila couple 02/10/12 [Last modified: Friday, February 10, 2012 11:04pm]
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