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Tampa police employee suspended as probe of police killing widens

TAMPA — A longtime Tampa Police Department employee has been suspended because her daughter was in contact with the man accused of killing two police officers, police Chief Jane Castor said Wednesday.

Police want to know if Carolyn Riggins was aware her daughter was in touch with Dontae Morris, 24, who surrendered to police Friday night.

Riggins was relieved without pay Wednesday morning. She will be fired if police find out she knew about her daughter's communication with Morris, Castor said at an 11 a.m. news conference.

Castor said Carolyn Riggins knew her daughter had a relationship with Morris' brother, Dwayne Callaway, and Morris himself but did not report it to police.

"If we find out that she had nothing to do with this, then she'll be reinstated," Castor said.

Riggins was hired in February 2000 as an office support specialist in the Tampa police department. In 2008, she became a customer service specialist. Her evaluations have all been outstanding, according to personnel records.

Riggins' daughter, Alaina Nichole Riggins, 25, was with Callaway when they were arrested at Motel 6, 333 E Fowler Ave., early Saturday, Castor said.

She was arrested on charges of cocaine and marijuana possession and possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony. Callaway faces two charges of probation violation as well as cocaine and marijuana possession.

At Carolyn Riggins' home on Maple Pointe Drive in Seffner, a woman who said she was Alaina Riggins showed up in a car with a man early Wednesday afternoon.

"Get from around here, man,"she said. "I don't got nothing to say."

Asked if she wanted to comment, Riggins tore up a television reporter's business card that was left at the front door, saying, "This is what I got to say to y'all."

The police department has "very promising leads" in its search for the gun used to kill officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab early June 29, Castor said. Police believe it is the same firearm used in the murder of Derek Anderson. Morris has also been named a suspect in that murder.

As for the thousands of dollars police offered up for information leading to Morris' arrest, most will be doled out to the confidential informant, Castor said. The reward from CrimeStoppers will likely be the only part that will not be given out, she said, as tips must be made to CrimeStoppers in order to receive it.

"This is not an overnight process," she said.

Staff writer Justin George contributed to this report.

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Tampa police employee suspended as probe of police killing widens 07/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 8, 2010 8:52am]
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