Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Suspects sought in fatal purse snatching in Hudson

HUDSON — Linda Roma and her daughter went to TJ Maxx on Wednesday night to buy hand towels, a vase and shower curtains for the home Jennifer Roma recently bought to be 1.7 miles away from her mother.

The two joked around as they walked out of the Hudson store at 8:53 p.m. That's when Jennifer noticed a suspicious man just beyond the outer doors.

The man walked past Jennifer and lunged toward Linda, 62, and grabbed her purse. The two struggled, and Linda fell to the ground, hitting her head.

Linda Roma died the next day at Tampa General Hospital after suffering bleeding in her brain, according to Jennifer's fiance, Damon Michau.

"I lost a piece of my life that may never be replaced," said Jennifer, 33, sobbing during a news conference Friday afternoon. "My mother was my rock."

Pasco authorities are searching for the man and a female accomplice who drove him away in a pearl or gray '90s Buick Regal.

Pasco authorities are investigating the case as a homicide.

"Do I think that this guy went (to TJ Maxx) with this intention? No," said Detective Lisa Schoneman. "But this is murder."

A man in the Point Plaza shopping center just north of State Road 52 heard Linda screaming during the struggle. He followed the Buick onto U.S. 19, but eventually lost the car.

An hour later, at the Wal-Mart Supercenter a mile away on U.S. 19, the suspect was captured on a surveillance video with the woman driver and an unidentified man. The suspect tried to use Linda's credit card to buy something at the jewelry counter, but the card was denied, authorities said.

Linda's purse was found sometime later at the Winn-Dixie at U.S. 19 and Hudson Avenue, Schoneman said. Her credit cards were gone.

"We know there's people out there who know the suspect," Schoneman said. "We need them to come forward."

Linda and Jennifer Roma were frequent shoppers at that TJ Maxx.

On Wednesday, Jennifer, a private school teacher in Pinellas County, left work early to go to her mother's house in the Barrington Woods subdivision off Hudson Avenue. The two then headed to TJ Maxx.

In addition to items for Jennifer's home, they also bought washcloths for Linda's home and a baby bib for one of Jennifer's friends.

Jennifer said her mother loved animals, "prided herself on being a lady," and doted on her family. Her son, Glenn Roma, 30, is a researcher at the University of South Florida.

Linda was a retired nurse and full-time caretaker for her husband, Ralph, 78, who has diabetes and heart failure, Jennifer said.

The two celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary Nov. 4, Michau said.

Jennifer said she and her mother often bonded while chatting on the porch of her home.

"I looked forward to us talking, and our shopping trips," Jennifer said Friday. "Now, it's gone ... I'm angry. Very angry. I'm never going to get her life back."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at cspencer@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

got a tip?

Where to call

Pasco authorities are looking for a tall, slender man between 25 and 30 years old driving a pearl or gray Buick Regal. They are also looking for a woman age 25 to 30 who is about 5-feet-7, 170 pounds with dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. Anyone with information on the case may call Detective Schoneman at 1-800-854-2862 ext. 7473.

Suspects sought in fatal purse snatching in Hudson 11/14/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 15, 2008 7:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  3. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and similar events, saying they are inappropriate could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  4. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  5. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)