Sunday, May 20, 2018
Public safety

Couple found dead on houseboat were stabbed by handyman, St. Petersburg police say

ST. PETERSBURG — A man and woman killed on their houseboat Friday were stabbed to death by a man they had known for months, police said Monday.

It will likely be several days before Raynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria, arrested in North Carolina a day after the slayings, will be extradited to Florida.

But on Monday, police released a few more details about the crime the 40-year-old is accused of committing.

Police spokesman Mike Puetz said Figueroa-Sanabria had worked for John Travlos, 75, and Germana Morin, 74, for at least six months. His motive for killing the couple — discovered dead aboard their 72-foot-long boat Friday morning at the Loggerhead Marina — appears to be robbery, he said. "Apparently a large quantity of jewelry was missing," Puetz said.

Police said they quickly zeroed in on Figueroa-Sanabria. Neighbors said he recently moved into an apartment across from the marina and was seen driving Travlos' golf cart.

"He did odd jobs, painting and cleanup type issues around the boat," Puetz said.

Within hours, police alerted other law enforcement they were looking for the man.

A North Carolina highway patrol officer pulled over a rented 2004 gold Ford Taurus matching the fugitive alert around 1 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 95 near Rocky Mount in Nash County, east of Raleigh.

Figueroa-Sanabria surrendered peacefully, police said. He told officers he was headed to New York, where he has family.

Figueroa-Sanabria has been charged with first-degree murder. He also was wanted on a warrant for trafficking cocaine, police said.

The couple, whose boat was moored at the marina just east of Interstate 275 near 58th Avenue S, was last seen alive around 8 or 9 p.m. Thursday, Puetz said.

At about 11 a.m. the next morning, a massage therapist arrived for a regularly scheduled appointment. When no one answered the door, she got help from an electrician who also came to work on the boat. Together, they discovered the bodies.

Detectives interviewed Figueroa-Sanabria on Sunday, but have been mum on what, if anything, he said.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8643.

Comments
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — Hardworking. Funny. Loving. Grieving family and friends recalled the endearing qualities of some of the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a Texas high school, as authorities on Saturday released the names of the 10 killed. Eight ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

TAMPA — After a botched burglary, a fleeing suspect jumped into a canal to escape deputies Saturday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The person has not yet been identified. The suspect tried to break into a business on...
Published: 05/19/18
Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades were clinging to life Saturday, a day after their passenger jet crashed in a fireball in Havana’s rural outskirts with 113 people on board. In the first official dea...
Published: 05/19/18
He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

Cosmo DiNardo declared "I am a savage no explanation needed" on social media seven months before police say he lured four young men to his family’s farm, shot them to death, ran one of them over with a backhoe and dumped three of their bodies in a pi...
Published: 05/19/18
Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies arrested an off-duty Largo firefighter found asleep at the wheel shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday.Patrol deputies saw a 2013 Dodge Dart, facing west and stopped in the intersection of Main Street and Bass Bou...
Published: 05/19/18
After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

Hours after Friday’s deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, bay area law enforcement officials pledged to beef up school security for the last remaining days of the school year.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister held a news conference late Frid...
Published: 05/18/18
Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

LARGO — Police are searching for a person of interest in the January disappearance of a 24-year-old man.The missing man is Timothy Patrick Cullen, 24, who Largo police said was last seen Jan. 22 at his home in the 500 block of Seventh Ave NE. His veh...
Published: 05/18/18
Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

BAYONET POINT — A 26-year-old man was arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated child abuse and accused of fracturing an infant’s skull, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Brandon Scott Madrishin told deputies that a 3-month-old infant ...
Published: 05/18/18
20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

When her school bus pulled up to her house that day, Ashley Bell spotted her mom’s car in the driveway and wondered why it was there. A 14-year-old latchkey kid, Bell usually got home before her mother Carolyn arrived from her job as a nurse at St. J...
Published: 05/18/18
Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns

Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns

SANTA FE, Texas — The Texas student charged in the school shooting at Santa Fe High School posted an image on Facebook of himself wearing a "Born to Kill" shirt and used his father’s shotgun and pistol in the attack that left 10 dead and 10 wounded, ...
Published: 05/18/18