SAN CARLOS PARK — When Russell Myers got back to his San Carlos Park home last week after a trip to the store, he knew immediately that his longtime girlfriend, Debra Striano, had been killed.
In a 911 tape released Friday, Myers tells a dispatcher that "my girlfriend's been murdered" inside the couple's Three Oaks home.
"I just walked in the house from going to get groceries and gas and my girlfriend — she's dead. She's — somebody cut her throat," he said.
When a dispatcher asked Myers if it would be worthwhile to start doing CPR, he said Striano was beyond help. He described the July 24 killing as a near-decapitation.
The couple's dog, Scruffy, also was wounded with a knife during the break-in. The house was "ransacked," according to Myers.
"Somebody came in to rob her," he said. "They absolutely murdered her. Oh my God, they probably were looking for me, too."
Seven days later, the Sheriff's Office arrested Dustin Dean Jaye, 23, in connection with the 55-year-old woman's death. His uncle Billy Raye Retherford Jr., 42, who also is wanted in the killing, remains at large.
Sheriff Mike Scott described the homicide as a botched robbery.
Myers said he was an acquaintance of Jaye's but did not know him well. Striano knew neither of the men, he said.
Anyone with information about Retherford's whereabouts is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff's Office at 477-1000 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800 -780-TIPS (8477).