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Tarpon Springs doctor is found slain at home

Rebecca Schwartz got home Wednesday night and found her 7,400-square-foot mansion on the Anclote River in disarray.

Fearing a burglary, she called police. Tarpon Springs officers arrived and it took K-9 dogs about 10 minutes to find the body of a man.

It was Schwartz's husband, Dr. Steven Schwartz, a 74-year-old doctor with an office in Dunedin.

His death is being investigated as a homicide, said Tarpon Springs police Sgt. Ed Miller, describing Schwartz's fatal injuries as "upper body trauma."

Police disclosed few details about their investigation Thursday, but did say Schwartz was targeted. Officers distributed a letter by Tarpon Springs police Chief Robert Kochen on Thursday to alleviate residents' concerns. "Based on our investigation thus far," Kochen wrote, "we are confident that this was not a random act of violence."

Rebecca Schwartz, 53, was interviewed by detectives, but she is "not listed as a suspect right now," Miller added. She could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Within the past year, the only other contact police have had with the home at 1310 Belcher Drive was Sept. 24 regarding a missing boat that was later recovered.

Detectives were still determining Thursday whether a burglary actually occurred. Police did not say whether there was evidence that someone broke in or if there were signs of a struggle within the house, purchased by the Schwartzes in 2011 for $656,000. Last year, the mansion was valued at $1.6 million, property records show.

On Thursday, patrol cars and crime scene unit vans flanked the two-story home with tan-colored exterior walls and brick accents. A white Mercedes was parked in the driveway.

Neighbors described the Schwartzes as a nice couple who occasionally hosted parties and owned two large dogs: a mastiff and a black Labrador.

His family declined to comment.

Tarpon Springs doctor is found slain at home 05/29/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 8:38pm]
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