Deputies release identity of Sun City Center couple killed in apparent murder-suicide

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Published October 2 2018
Updated October 2 2018

SUN CITY CENTER — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says a couple found dead in their home from an apparent murder-suicide on Friday were Joseph Sutton, 74, and his wife Karen Sutton, 73.

Deputies are still investigating what happened inside the home at 2205 Preservation Green Court in Sun City Center, but said both died from gunshot wounds.

Neighbors called 911 around 7:45 p.m. on Friday after hearing gunshots inside the home, the Sheriff’s Office said. When deputies arrived they found women’s clothing scattered across the walkway leading to the couple’s front door. When they knocked on the door, no one answered.

The deputies looked through the home’s front window and saw what appeared to be blood pooling on the floor, the Sheriff’s Office said. Inside, they discovered the couple’s bodies.

Investigators said the deaths appear to be the fifth murder-suicide in the Tampa Bay area in recent days.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputies reported on Sept. 24 that James Bennett, of Bradenton, shot and killed his wife Silvana and her 16-year-old daughter Andrea Barberena-Rojas inside their Lakewood Ranch home. The following morning, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Dep. Kirk Keithley is believed to have killed his wife Samantha inside their home in Land O’Lakes before turning the gun on himself.

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, employees at Shephard’s Beach Resort in Clearwater found the bodies of Jeff and Melissa Little inside their hotel room. Clearwater detectives confirmed that they believe Jeff Little shot his wife before committing suicide.

Then on Sunday, authorities said Tamara Harris, 61, killed James Firment, 56, before taking her own life.