PORT RICHEY — When a 79-year-old was killed at her home in the Regency Park neighborhood in 2005, one young man’s name surfaced again and again: Brian Vincent Stoll. Now, 14 years later, he’s charged with her murder.
Stoll was 19 at the time and lived just blocks from Beverly Bobrick, 79, who was battered to death in the early morning on a Sunday in September.
In Bobrick’s case, someone broke into her home and then beat her to death, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office believed. She suffered multiple trauma injuries, including to her head. Someone killed her dog, Pepe, the same night.
Stoll had confessed to burglarizing multiple homes in the area that month. Authorities said he targeted homes where elderly people lived. He would break in when they weren’t home and steal cash and prescription pills. He had even, Pasco deputies said, stolen from Bobrick’s home before, taking about $80 from her wallet weeks before her death.
And, in a similar incident, he broke into an elderly man’s home and then, finding him alive, attacked him. The man, Merle Smith, lived.
Less than two weeks after Bobrick’s death, Stoll’s name came up in news coverage after he was charged with nearby break-ins in the following days. He was convicted and eventually sentenced to 23 years in prison.
But he was never charged in Bobrick’s case.
“We don’t have any evidence connecting that to the homicide,” said Doug Tobin, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, in September 2005.
But that changed. By 2009, the agency obtained a warrant to take hair samples from Stoll, who was then in state prison, convicted of the burglaries. And now, a hair sample is the “main physical evidence” that deputies say proves the man, indeed, was Bobrick’s killer all along.
Deputies on Thursday night arrested Stoll, who is still incarcerated, on a charge of premeditated murder.
Capt. Mike Jenkins and Det. Todd Koenig explained the arrest to reporters Friday afternoon.
Just weeks after he first burglarized the woman’s home, Jenkins said, Stoll returned to do so again. But finding her home, he killed her, likely “with his hands and feet.”
Since 2005, detectives have found new evidence, deputies said. According to Koenig, witnesses who were not at the scene of the crime saw Stoll later and said he had bloody clothing and told them he killed a woman and her dog.
And “new technologies” have allowed for better DNA analysis, he said.
Though there were no signs of sexual assault, detectives found a pubic hair in Bobrick’s home, Jenkins said. Recent testing of the hair ties Stoll to that location, he said. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kevin Doll declined to elaborate further on the new testing technology.
Stoll’s previous incarceration was helpful as detectives tried to build their case, Jenkins said, because it allowed them time to compile the strongest evidence before arresting him.
The deputies credited a retired detective, Lisa Schoneman, with years of work on the case.
In 2009, Schoneman spoke to the Times about continuing the investigation, even after Bobrick’s last living relatives had died.
“We don’t just put it on the shelf and forget,” she said.