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Elderly Palm Harbor couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide

PALM HARBOR — Pinellas County sheriff's detectives are investigating the death of a Palm Harbor couple as a possible murder-suicide, authorities said Tuesday.

John and Dorothy Aloizakis, both 86, were found dead about 10 p.m. Monday by the couple's adult son, who went to his parents' home at 2059 Sandpiper Drive to check on them.

The family had been trying to reach the couple throughout the day with no success, according to the Sheriff's Office.

A man who identified himself as the Aloizakis' son declined to comment when reached at his home Tuesday afternoon.

The Rev. Father James Rousakis of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater said the couple were longtime parishioners.

"They were very quiet, unassuming, nice, friendly and very proud of their son," Rousakis said. "They were just genuine people."

The couple were proud of their Greek heritage and the country they came to call home, he said.

"They represent an era of people who came from Greece to America with nothing and worked hard," Rousakis said. "They established a life here and were very proud of the country they lived in."

Rousakis said he and his wife planned to visit with the couple's family on Tuesday night.

Neighbor Carolyn Hecht, 66, said she hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary recently.

"It's a shame," she said. "We don't know what happened. We can't even surmise."

Hecht has lived next door to the couple since 1995.

"They were a very nice couple," she said. "They took care of each other."

Neighbor Cary Valdes said she saw the couple working in their yard over the weekend. The couple were meticulous about their home and yard, she said.

"We're so sad we didn't even get to meet them," said Valdes, who turns 40 Wednesday. "We just moved in two weeks ago."

The Sheriff's Office did not release any details about how the couple died.

There has been a rash of murder-suicides in Pinellas County over the past six months. On March 30, a Largo man shot three people, wounding his former girlfriend and killing her 21-year-old son and his 16-year-old girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself.

Two days later, a 67-year-old man shot his wife, then himself, in their Palm Harbor home. On April 22, a husband and wife in their 80s, who each had health problems, died in a similar murder-suicide in Largo.

On May 21, a Treasure Island couple were found dead in what authorities called a "domestic" murder-suicide. And on May 22, a 53-year-old Tierra Verde man shot and killed his ex-wife at her Snell Isle home. He later shot himself and was found floating in a Tierra Verde canal. The couple had a history of domestic disputes.

Elderly Palm Harbor couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide 08/25/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 7:18pm]
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