Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Palms mother covered teens with blankets after killing them, search warrant says

TAMPA — At the suburban cul-de-sac home, police found the girl in her bed and the boy in the family SUV, both lifeless, both covered with blankets.

They found the mother unconscious in a screened-in pool area, dried blood on her white robe and spent cigarettes nearby.

This first official glimpse of the murder scene at 16305 Royal Park Court in Tampa Palms North is detailed in a search warrant filed in Hillsborough court Tuesday, four days after Julie Powers Schenecker, 50, told police what she had done:

Shot her 13-year-old son, Beau, twice in the head during a car ride Thursday, after he talked back.

Shot her 16-year-old daughter, Calyx, in the face and back of her head as she did homework on a computer.

Schenecker remains in Falkenburg Road Jail without bail, charged with two counts of first-degree murder. She has had no visitors and has been on constant surveillance since her Friday arrest.

What happened inside her mind remains a mystery. A fuller story won't likely emerge until a criminal case begins to take shape in court.

But police removed pieces of evidence — including the .38-caliber revolver — that suggest what happened inside her home:

In the master bedroom, they found a gun instruction manual, a Smith & Wesson box and bullets. A notepad and pen, a blue folder with papers, medication.

On the stairwell, a sticky note with a message that police described as a do-not-resuscitate order.

Police swabbed blood from a mat under a desk. They took computers, cell phones, paperwork, sticky notes and medication, but the court record detailed neither the kinds of medicine nor contents of the notes.

Behind the house, where investigators discovered Schenecker, they also found a water bottle, a lighter, the cigarette butts, a mechanical pencil and a yellow notepad.

In the master bathroom, they found five spent shell casings. Each child was shot twice. The fifth bullet struck the SUV windshield.

The call that first summoned police Friday morning came from Schenecker's mother, who from a winter home in Texas worried about an e-mail her daughter had sent the night before, in which she seemed depressed.

Two officers arrived at the home at 7:49 a.m., looking for a possibly suicidal woman.

At that point, they didn't know about another note the woman wrote, in which she detailed her plan to kill her kids and herself.

They didn't know they would find two dead children.

But once they saw Schenecker, they knew they needed help. They called for their sergeant. Twenty minutes after the officers arrived, a man's voice was heard on a police radio with a request for dispatchers:

"I need more units."

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354. Information from RadioReference.com was used in this report.

Tampa Palms mother covered teens with blankets after killing them, search warrant says 02/01/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 3, 2011 4:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A second mistrial: Jury deadlocks in Ohio cop's murder retrial

    Nation

    CINCINNATI — A mistrial was declared Friday in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on charges in the fatal traffic stop shooting of an unarmed black motorist.

    Former University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing, left, and his attorney Stew Mathews listen as Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz tells the jury to continue deliberations after the jury said they are deadlocked during Tensing's trial on Friday in Cincinnati. [AP photo]
  2. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.

  3. What to watch this weekend: 'GLOW,' second season of 'Preacher'

    Blogs

    Ready to rumble: GLOW

    Four words: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Yes, the fluorescent, body-slamming soap opera GLOW starring a cast of exaggerated characters is back, this time as a fictionalized Netflix series. Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) stars as Ruth, a down-on-her-luck actor …

    Alison Brie, left, and Betty Gilpin in GLOW on Netflix.
  4. Exploratory Lab Boot Camp provides real-life technology training to students

    Science

    CLEARWATER — At this graduation ceremony featuring some of the brightest local minds in tech, it was the youngsters who stood out.

    Laszlo Leedy, 17, a senior at Shorecrest Prep, presents part of his team's project for SPC's Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. Students presented their ideas at the end of the SPC Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. The program provides real-time business training to students. This year's graduation celebrated 15 students that finished the program. 
[JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  5. Editorial: Trump, not military, should set troop levels in Afghanistan

    Editorials

    There is no task more solemn for any American president than the decision to send troops off to war. In delegating authority over troops levels in Afghanistan to the Pentagon, President Donald Trump has shirked his obligation to own and defend his Afghan policy, while further divorcing America's military strategy there …