Thursday, June 21, 2018
Public safety

Women in Largo double shooting were friends, former roommates

LARGO — Nine years ago on her 18th birthday, Lindsey Castaneda asked a St. Petersburg tattoo artist to ink a galaxy across her back.

She wanted the moon and a flurry of stars — stuff people wish on.

Lindsey, who wore her bright red hair down to her waist, loved magic and fairy tales. She decorated her bedroom with glittery-winged pixies.

Her mother, Paula Davis of Clearwater, remembers her daughter as a gentle woman with a big imagination, a loving friend who would baby-sit for friends and family for free.

Davis doesn't know why Lindsey, 27, checked into a Largo hotel room Sunday, just a few miles from her house, with her former roommate, Bethany Dunlop, 26.

Or why Bethany, authorities say, apparently shot Lindsey dead before aiming the .38 revolver at her head and pulling the trigger.

The old friends had been "off and on" for years, Davis said. They shared a Largo apartment before Lindsey got a job as a telemarketer and moved into a house with her sister, also in Largo.

In April, Bethany, whose maiden name is Hebert, filed for a divorce from her husband of six years.

Until Monday afternoon, when an employee of the Suburban Lodge at 6550 Ulmerton Road found them shot in their room, the women occasionally talked, went to the mall and took day trips to Sunset Beach.

Everything seemed normal, Davis said — until the Largo police officer called.

Bethany Dunlop survived her apparent suicide attempt and on Tuesday remained in critical condition in Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

Largo police are continuing to investigate, but they said Tuesday they have no other suspects and they have no evidence that a third person was in the room with the two when the shootings occurred.

On Tuesday, Lindsey's friends created a Facebook page: "In Remembrance of Lindsey Castaneda." They posted memories and grief:

"Lindsey had a huge heart and rarely told anybody No when they needed help. If she had it or could do it, she would."

"I still haven't had the heart to tell my 7-year-old that her NUNU is gone and she won't ever be coming back."

"Lindsey was superhuman and was the only friend to open up her home to me along with her mother in a very dark part of my life."

"She was one of the strongest chicks I have ever known, and the kids and I will never forget her beautiful smile."

News researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

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