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Crime News

Woman In Custody Following 'Ruthless And Senseless' Double Homicide Of Elderly Couple

Police say a person of interest was repeatedly escorted out of the Waterman Village retirement community after several suspicious encounters. Hours later, Darryl and Sharon Getman were found dead in their home. 

By Jax Miller
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Police officials have a person in custody after an elderly Florida couple was found dead in their home on New Year’s Eve.

The victims, identified as 83-year-old Darryl Getman and his wife, 80-year-old Sharon Getman were found dead on Saturday afternoon at the Waterman Village senior living community in Mount Dora, Florida — about 40 miles northwest of Orlando — authorities said during a live press conference on Tuesday.

Interim Police Chief Mike Gibson declined to release a cause of death, adding the investigation was “still unraveling.”

“They were enjoying their golden years of retirement, something that we all kind of look forward to, right?” said Gibson. “However, in this case, the golden years of Darryl and Sharon were tragically cut short by a ruthless and senseless double homicide."

News broke over the weekend, though officials previously withheld much information, citing a “fast-moving, fast-breaking investigation,” according to NBC Orlando affiliate WESH.

A Press Conference regarding Darryl and Sharon Getman

Police say that a person of interest in the case — described as a Black woman — was arrested out of state. However, investigators declined to share the suspect's name or the facts surrounding her capture.

Investigators claim to have narrowed in on the unnamed woman after learning she allegedly trespassed at the Waterman Village property on Dec. 30 at around 3:00 p.m., Chief Gibson explained. Gibson wasn’t sure how on-site security was notified of the specific incident, but they reportedly escorted the woman off the premises via a rear exit.

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At around 4:14 p.m. that day, security footage captured the same person of interest back in the retirement community, this time on Lake Margaret Circle — where the Getmans lived.

According to Gibson, the suspect was “dressed in a particular way,” and her “very unique” attire helped investigators spot her on surveillance footage that was later examined by officials. Investigators believe she may have snuck back onto the property through gaps in the fence near a construction area on the property.

At around 11:00 p.m., the unnamed woman knocked on the door of a Lake Margaret Circle residence that did not belong to the victims, Gibson continued. She allegedly asked the woman who answered the door if she could take a shower.

When the “panicked” woman refused and pressed an emergency alarm, the suspect reportedly grabbed a set of keys from a nearby table and fled the area.

Mount Dora Police responded to the scene, but there was no sign of the suspect.

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“Fast forward to about three hours to the minute: Dec. 31, 2:02 a.m., Mr. and Mrs. Getman’s vehicle was photographed leaving the facility,” Gibson stated.

Approximately 10 minutes after the stolen vehicle was seen leaving the community, the person of interest allegedly tried to reenter Waterman Village again, though security guards stopped her.

“However, they were alarmed and did follow her,” Gibson stated.

Security reportedly followed the woman — who was then on foot — as she headed toward an access road that led to Waterman Village, though they ultimately lost sight of her.

Darryl and Sharon Getman were found dead at around 4:00 p.m. on Saturday after a neighbor reported “something suspicious” about the couple’s residence, noticing the garage doors had stayed open all day.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the person of interest was arrested, though she was found “a good ways away” with the Getmans’ vehicle, which is now in police custody, Gibson continued. She is expected to be extradited to Florida, though she has not been charged with their murder.

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Police say there is no known connection between the woman and the Getmans, nor does she appear to have a connection in central Florida, where Gibson said the suspect had “upset our lives.”

Investigators believe that she was just “passing through,” though they’re still investigating a possible motive.

“I’m confident it is random,” Gibson told reporters.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are assisting in the Mount Dora Police Department’s investigation, including the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the State’s Attorney’s Office and city officials.

“I retired once, and I think about those golden years,” Chief Gibson told reporters. I do take this personal.”

More details are expected throughout the week.