KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The Polk County Sheriff's Office have arrested an 85-year-old man who is accused of murdering his 90-year-old common-law wife.
Jose Tavera is charged with first degree murder in the death of Hilda Roman.
According to the sheriff's office, a 911 call came in on August 5 about an elderly man standing in the roadway at Marigold Ave. and Bell Tower Crossing in Poinciana around 5:50 a.m. When deputies arrived at the scene, they said that Tavera's shirt and hands were covered in blood and he couldn't tell them where he lived.
Tavera was transported to a hospital. Meanwhile, deputies arrived at his home on Martin Lane and discovered the body of Roman in the bedroom. Deputies said she was laying on her back, wearing a nightgown, with trauma on her face, head, arms, and wrists. There was also a wooden side table on top of her.
Deputies said there were no signs of forced entry.
According to family members, the couple are not legally married, but have lived together for over 60 years.
"During the interview, Jose told detectives he was not under the influence of any medications, was healthy, and that he knew what day it was," stated a release from the sheriff's office. "He said he didn't have a home and just walked the streets. He also said he did not have a phone or a car. He said he did not know Hilda Roman."
When questioned about the blood on his fingernails, Tavera reportedly told deputies that it was paint from a job he did, but changed his story when deputies asked him what phone the client called him on.Deputies said that Tavera repeatedly told them that he did not know Roman, even after being shown pictures of her. He also said he did not recognize the residence when deputies showed him photos of his home.
"When asked what detectives were trying to accuse him of he said, 'I'm not a murderer.' Jose then stopped responding to questions."
Tavera was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail. He has been Baker Acted and is in a local medical facility.
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