Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said Dustin Dean Jaye, 23, and his uncle, Billy Raye Retherford Jr., 42, entered 55-year-old Debra Striano's home in the Three Oaks community in an attempted burglary on July 24. Then, she was killed.
Myers said he returned from his 20-minute trip to the gas station that night around 10:30 p.m. and found Striano's body inside. A 911 dispatcher told him to try to revive her.
"That wasn't going to happen from what I saw," he said.
Investigators have not yet said how Striano died, but Myers said the couple's border collie, Scruffy, was injured with a knife during the attack. Scott described the home as "a very brutal crime scene."
Jaye was arrested Tuesday and faces charges of felony murder, home invasion and destruction of evidence. Retherford is named on a warrant for felony violation of probation. Charges related to the homicide for him are pending.
Scott said deputies were "hitting the streets hard" looking for Retherford. The sheriff described both men as "career criminals," saying Retherford had been released from prison in January and Jaye, in March.
State records show Retherford has been in Florida prison four times for assorted burglaries and grand thefts. Jaye has been in prison on three occasions for burglary, grand theft and felony battery.
Anyone who sees Retherford or knows of his whereabouts is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff's Office at 477-1000 or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800 -780-TIPS(8477). Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org, through the TipSubmit app on any iPhone or by texting CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.
The boyfriend of a San Carlos Park homicide victim said Tuesday that officials had made an arrest in the June 24 killing.
Deputies found Debra Striano’s body inside the home she and boyfriend Russell Myers shared in the Three Oaks community, just west of Interstate 75. A funeral for Striano, 55, was held today. Myers described the killing as a botched robbery.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is expected to announce a “major development” in the case at a 5:30 p.m. news conference. A suspect hasn't yet been named.
Detectives haven't disclosed a cause or manner of death, but Myers said the couple’s border collie, Scruffy, was injured with a knife in the attack.