Last summer was the first time David Losacano noticed. Something wasn't right between his sister and her boyfriend.
After 25 years, she wanted out. Linda Losacano laid the news on her boyfriend, Timothy Dean Arnold, while the couple spent the summer at David's house in Concord, N.H. Linda was going to move there with her brother and sister, and bring her 5-year-old daughter Kylie, too. And there was nothing Arnold could do about it.
"Dean," she told him. "I'm going to do this by the end of the year. I'm not fooling around."
Arnold burst into tears, David recalled. "Linda, I can't live without you."
She said he would be fine, that people separated all the time. Arnold repeated: "I can't live without you."
"You're scaring me," she said.
David Losacano keeps replaying the scene in his mind as Pasco deputies continue their search for his sister, who hasn't been seen or heard from since April 14. Arnold, 48, died Sunday evening of a self-inflicted gunshot wound as deputies kicked open the door to the couple's Wesley Chapel home. David is losing hope that Linda, 49, will be found alive.
David and his other sister, Connie Losacano, flew down Saturday to look for Linda. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office had made earlier checks at 27154 Raven Brook Road but no one was home.
"I knew something was wrong," David said.
He remembers they got to the house at 1 a.m. Sunday, sharp. They parked near a neighbor's yard. They stood behind trees for a view at the house without being seen. The doors were locked, blinds drawn, no lights inside or out.
They met with deputies at the jail. Deputies filled out a report. If no one appeared to be home, it was all deputies could do. David and Connie slept in a rental car in a gas station parking lot.
They returned to the house at daybreak. This time they pulled into the driveway. They looked in windows, in a shed behind the house. David tried to kick in the door with his heel.
"Come on out of there!" he yelled while he kicked. "You're going to get it. I know you've done something to my sister."
On the other side of the door, silence.
They called deputies again. They talked to a neighbor who also hadn't seen the family in nearly a month. Still, there wasn't enough evidence for deputies to force entry.
Linda's siblings went to visit Arnold's relatives. Patricia Arnold told them her son had called the day before to wish her a happy birthday. David said she told them about this exchange:
Patricia Arnold told her son to put Kylie on the phone, to make sure she was all right. He did.
"Where's mommy?" she asked Kylie.
"Mommy's not coming home."
"Put daddy back on," she told her.
Dean Arnold gave evasive answers to his mother's questions. She asked about Linda. "Don't worry, Kylie's okay," was all he said.
David called deputies again and told them about the conversation. A detective told them to meet at the house on Raven Brook Road.
Five squad cars lined the road Sunday evening. David pulled off beside them. A deputy ordered them behind the car.
He watched deputies kick down the door. Heard shouts as they entered the house. Deputies found Kylie in a hallway, unharmed, and whisked her outside.
From his spot behind the car, David heard the pats of bare feet as Kylie ran down the driveway in tears.
Connie sprang from behind the car and snatched the little girl up in her arms.
David said Kylie told him what happened:
She watched her daddy put a gun in his mouth and pull the trigger. She said his blood got on her toys.
Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Alex Orlando can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6247.