LEALMAN — A petty argument turned deadly Friday for a pregnant mother of two, who was fatally stabbed at a mobile home park for sex offenders.
Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies are searching for Christopher Robertson, 41, who they said stabbed Anna Marie Kasvicis, 22, about 12:40 p.m.
Robert Piccolo, 20, said his fiancee was dropping off groceries at his lot at the Palace Mobile Home Park on her way to a job interview. He said she commented to Robertson, who had been staying there since he got out of jail, that he wasn't to touch the food.
Piccolo said that triggered a back-and-forth that ended when Robertson, 41, grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and stabbed her in the chest. Piccolo witnessed the altercation.
"I wish he would have stabbed me," said Piccolo, who said he met Robertson in jail and was doing him a favor by taking him in. "She was a wonderful person."
Piccolo said Kasvicis was two months pregnant with his baby and leaves behind a girl and a boy, ages 7 and 4.
Robertson is described as a white man with short salt-and-pepper hair, about 6 feet tall and 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and blue jeans.
Neighbor Maribel Guzman, 44, said she saw Robertson running out of the park as she was on her way back from the store.
"She was a baby, a gorgeous young lady," said Guzman, who said she's known the victim for five years. "She didn't deserve this."
Kasvicis was taken by ambulance to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where she was pronounced dead, said Cecilia Barreda, spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
The Palace Mobile Home Park houses nearly 100 sex offenders. They have found it a haven after manager Nancy Morais persuaded the owner to start admitting them a few years ago. The move was inspired by her son, himself a sex offender, who struggled to find a place to live.
Robertson has faced charges of aggravated battery and kidnapping and was released from the Pinellas County Jail last month, after which he started staying at the park.
But he is not a sex offender, and Palace manager Morais said the residents of lot 274, where the stabbing occurred, are not part of the sex offender program either.
Tucked in the southwest corner of 54th Avenue N and Interstate 275, the park was quiet Friday afternoon as deputies with cameras guarded three rows of mobile homes wrapped in caution tape.
Neighbor Richard Reckert, 59, said Robertson had been hanging around the park lately, sometimes walking the dog of the residents at lot 274.
He lamented the way the killing would appear to the public.
"This place is going to get buried," he said. "It's going to get blown up like some sex offender did it."
Morais said she has more trouble with the private owners in her park than with the sex offenders. Because offenders are on probation, they're easier to refer to police when they cause problems, she said.
Morais spoke to reporters before driving to Hillsborough County, where she's involved with a similarly controversial park. Her nonprofit organization, Florida Justice Transitions, runs a Palm River mobile home park housing a small group of sex offenders.
On Friday, county officials determined they could not remove the offenders based on a county ordinance.
"I'm very proud of what the guys have done here, and I don't want this to come up against them," Morais said.
Times researcher Angie Drobnic Holan contributed to this report. Stephanie Garry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2374.