WESLEY CHAPEL — The crime scene tape was still up Monday afternoon. On the other side, the house was crawling with deputies and forensics agents. They dug in the yard, checked dirt mounds, opened a shed behind the house. But they hadn't found a trace of the woman whose boyfriend shot himself Sunday night, three weeks after she disappeared.
Linda V. Losacano's family last heard from her on April 14. Then she stopped picking up the phone and returning their calls. They called Pasco deputies, who went to the house at 27154 Raven Brook Road, where she lived with Timothy Dean Arnold and their 5-year-old daughter, Kylie.
Deputies stopped by the home twice over the weekend — about 12:30 p.m. Saturday and about 1:30 a.m. Sunday — and got no answer. They returned Sunday evening and forced their way in.
Kylie came out of a room into a hallway, unharmed. Then deputies heard muffled gunshots from another room.
Deputies whisked the child outside and called the SWAT team, which surrounded the home for about two hours. About 9:17 p.m. the team entered the home and found Arnold, 48, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Robert Lupo, a neighbor across the street, watched as Kylie came out of the house and ran toward her aunt, who scooped up the crying child. A deputy asked Kylie, "Where's Mommy?"
"She just pointed to the sky and said, 'Mommy's gone,' " said Lupo, 65.
On Monday night, Pasco deputies issued a statement saying they were investigating the situation as "an active missing persons case," though they said "evidence was discovered (Monday) at the Wesley Chapel home that may indicate foul play." Deputies did not elaborate.
Alison Stockfield, who lives down the road, met Losacano and Arnold last year. They had been dating for 25 years. Losacano was a sign language interpreter. Arnold had licenses as a security officer and private investigator, and worked for a company called the Investigation Agency.
Stockfield met the family one day in September when she saw the couple outside with Kylie. They became neighborhood friends and Kylie became a playmate to Stockfield's 2-year-old daughter, Eliana.
They were quiet and kept to themselves, Stockfield said, and she liked them. She saw the family almost every day over the past two months for playdates. They roasted marshmallows and watched movies.
She said she went to a garage sale with Losacano, 49, on April 14. Losacano bought picture frames to hold more images of Kylie. They agreed to go to another sale the next weekend. That never happened.
On April 17 or 18, she said, Arnold stopped by with Kylie. He cried and shook while he talked about the pending foreclosure on the $400,000 house they had bought in 2008. He said Losacano had gone north to stay with her sister, Stockfield said.
The next day, she called Losacano's cell phone. But Arnold picked up. He said she forgot the phone at home.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, a woman knocked on her door.
"Do you have any idea where Linda is?" she asked Stockfield.
"She's up north with her sister," Stockfield said.
"That can't be," the woman said, "because I'm her sister from New Hampshire."
After 17 days without hearing from her sister, Connie Losacano had flown down over the weekend, said sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin. She said she was concerned about Kylie. That gave deputies cause to enter the home Sunday evening.
Kylie is now staying with her aunt.
According to court documents, Connie Losacano filed Monday for custody of the girl. She and other relatives could not be reached for this story.
All this shocked Stockfield. She doesn't know how this could have happened without some sort of warning sign.
"She never said anything to me that something was wrong," Stockfield said. "Nothing."