Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mom, son, dog found dead in New Port Richey in apparent murder-suicide

NEW PORT RICHEY — After Richard Owen, his elderly mother and their pet chihuahua didn't venture outside their home for several days, one of their neighbors placed a call to the authorities.

People were getting worried.

"We got called out on a welfare check," said Kevin Doll, a spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. "The neighbors hadn't seen them in a few days and they started to smell decay."

When deputies arrived at the home at 4455 Grandwood Lane Saturday night, the neighbors' worst fears were confirmed: Owen and his 87-year-old mother, Joan Owen, were both dead inside, apparently of a murder-suicide.

Preliminary information indicates Richard Owen, 62, killed his mother and the dog, and then fatally shot himself. An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death for Joan Owen.

Doll said detectives had not figured out a motive or how long the Owens had been dead. He would not comment on where the bodies were located inside the home or whether deputies had found a note.

Richard Owen and his mother lived alone in the one-story, concrete block house with peach trim, Doll and neighbors said.

On Sunday afternoon, in the well-manicured neighborhood of single-family homes about a mile from the intersection of County Road 54 and Little Road, next-door neighbor Steven Deal said he still couldn't believe what happened.

"You couldn't ask for better neighbors," Deal said. "Rich was a great guy. I just can't get over this."

Richard Owen and his mother moved into the home in 1985, according to property records. They came to New Port Richey after previously living in Clearwater, Douglas County, Ga., and Seymour, Conn.

Several attempts to reach family members on Sunday weren't immediately successful.

Deal said the Owens would regularly let their chihuahua outside to run around in the yard, and Richard Owen was always willing to lend his neighbors a tool or putter around outside the home to care for their yard.

But when Owen and his dog didn't come outside for a few days, Deal and his neighbors grew concerned.

"It had been a few days," Deal said. "But you never figure anything like this."

Joel Anderson can be reached at or (352) 754-6120.

Mom, son, dog found dead in New Port Richey in apparent murder-suicide 07/19/09 [Last modified: Sunday, July 19, 2009 7:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. University student accused of making bomb threat on Snapchat


    DELAND — A Florida university student is accused of making threats on Snapchat to "bomb" or "gas" the campus.

    Stetson University freshman Griffin Powell, 18, is accused of making threats on Snapchat to "bomb" or "gas" the campus in DeLand.

  2. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants


    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]
  3. Cannons will fire again when Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium


    As good as the Bucs looked in their season-opening 29-7 win against the Bears on Sunday, fans couldn't help but notice that the success didn't sound the same at Raymond James Stadium.

     Ron Gutschmidt is perched on top of the Buccaneer pirate ship ready to activate the ship's cannons with the press of a button after a Buccaneer touchdown. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: How should Joe Maddon be remembered tonight?

    The Heater

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014 in the latest edition of our Rick and Tom podcast. They discuss the mixed emotions …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014. [Getty Images]
  5. Watch live: President Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly


    UNITED NATIONS — U.S. President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron are expected to take the spotlight at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations — but it's the tough global challenges from the nuclear threat in North Korea and the plight of Myanmar's minority Muslims to the …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in New York. [Associated Press]