Mount Dora police: Person of interest in 'ruthless' murder of Florida couple in custody
MOUNT DORA, Fla. - A woman has been taken into custody as a person of interest in the murders of a Florida husband and wife at a senior living community over New Year's weekend, police announced during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Mount Dora Interim Police Chief Mike Gibson said she was arrested out of state and will be extradited back to Florida in the coming days. Her identity has not been released at this time.
An investigation began after law enforcement responded to Waterman Village in Mount Dora around 4 p.m. Saturday after security was alerted by a concerned resident that the couple's garage door was open.
When security went to the home of the couple – identified by officials as 80-year-old Sharon Getman and 83-year-old Darryl Getman – they found a crime scene and called police.
According to police, the woman in custody – who was "dressed in a particular way" – was escorted off the Waterman property by security on Friday, Dec. 30. around 3 p.m. More than an hour later, she was captured on a security camera on Lake Margaret Circle wearing the same outfit, which Gibson referred to as "very unique."
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Shortly before 11 p.m., officials said she returned to the community and knocked on the door of one of the apartments and asked the tenant if she could take a shower.
The tenant became panicked and pushed her emergency alarm button, police said. That's when police said the person of interest ran off, but not before grabbing a set of keys near the apartment's front door that belonged to a car and a mailbox.
Police and security responded and checked the area and found nothing.
Around 2 a.m. on Saturday, a green Kia Soul, the Getman couple's vehicle, was captured on camera driving out of the complex, police said.
Police said a security camera captured the Getman couple's vehicle leaving the Waterman Village senior living community during the early morning hours of Dec. 31, 2022, according to police. (Photo via Mount Dora Police Department)
About 10 minutes later, the woman walked back to the facility but was denied entry by security. Officers said they followed her off the property and eventually lost sight of her.
Police officers responded to the complex later Saturday afternoon after the couple was found dead. A manner of death was not immediately released, but police previously described the crime as "heinous."
On Monday, the Mount Dora Police Department said it received a call saying the missing vehicle had been found. Police arrested the driver, who is the person of interest, on a charge of vehicle theft.
Officials did not share details about where the vehicle or the woman were found.
Police said the woman doesn't appear to have any ties to the Central Florida area, and they believe the woman was passing through.
Gibson said he believes the murders were a random act. When describing the couple, he became emotional.
Sharon Getman and Darryl Getman (Photos via Mount Dora Police Department)
"As you can see by the photograph, they were enjoying their 'golden years' of retirement, something that we all kind of look forward to I think. However, in this case, the 'golden years' of Darryl and Sharon were tragically cut short by a ruthless and senseless double homicide," he said.
An investigation is ongoing, but law enforcement are confident the case will be solved.
Shortly after learning about the homicides over the weekend, FOX 35 spoke with a neighbor who told us there was a strange woman who came to their door asking for help.
She told FOX 35, "She said she lost her car keys and needed to charge her phone. And my phone needs charging, can I come in and charge my phone?"
"That’s concerning," Mount Dora resident Jane Bloom said. Bloom is a former assisted living administrator and has major concern about security at senior living facilities like Waterman Village. "I don’t understand what happened their with so many opportunities to apprehend her or to hold her to see what she was up to," she said.