A Florida man is accused of fatally knifing his girlfriend and stuffing her body in his Cadillac late last week.
Warren Brown, 57, has been charged with second-degree murder, domestic battery, and aggravated assault in connection to his girlfriend Sophie Solis’ death, police said.
Solis’ body was found in the trunk of Brown’s Cadillac on Saturday after concerned friends searched her home and made the grisly discovery.
Solis, who had supposedly texted a pal on Wednesday night telling her she “would be right over,” never showed up, police said. The next day, the woman’s boyfriend, Brown, allegedly texted the same friend, writing that Solis “was asleep.” The friend later saw Brown park his Cadillac outside his home, which he concealed with a car cover.
Solis’ friend and another witness walked over to the couple’s home the next day and found the residence in “disarray,” police said. They located Solis’ purse in a “pile of clutter” and also retrieved a spare set of keys to Brown’s Cadillac.
Upon popping the trunk, they found Solis’ body, along with framed photographs of the couple, “bloody paper towels,” a blood-stained robe that had Brown’s name monogrammed on it, and a “leather covered slap jack with blood, hair, and flesh on it,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
Investigators later found blood spatter on the ceiling of two rooms in the couple’s home, police said.
The couple were well known to authorities, who described their relationship as “violent.” This year alone, police were dispatched to Brown and Solis’ home 17 times — primarily for domestic-related incidents. And only two weeks ago, officers arrested Brown for also allegedly attacking his girlfriend with a kitchen knife, “cutting both her arms,” according to a separate criminal complaint against the 57-year-old.
He had also allegedly threatened to kill Solis and another man during the Nov. 10 incident.
“The victims were in fear for their lives when [Brown] came outside and approached them with a large kitchen knife while stating ‘I’ll kill you all,’” the criminal complaint stated.
However, Brown bonded out and was released earlier this month. Solis supposedly later filed a request for the judge to drop the charges.
“Their relationship was certainly a violent one and they had a lot of issues and back and forth,” Yolanda Fernandez, a spokesperson for St. Petersburg Police Department, told Oxygen.com.
“She gets an injunction, he violates it, he goes to jail, he comes out, she takes him back. This sort of cycle of violence is very familiar and it is a sad one –– this one especially, because it ended up with him taking her life.”
Given the volume of domestic incidents at the couple's home, the conversation in the community might veer toward questioning why Solis stayed in a relationship that allegedly proved deadly. But that approach would be missing a broader point about domestic violence, according to Sherry Clester, director of program services at Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA), a nonprofit emergency shelter and domestic abuse hotline for battered women in Florida, told Oxygen.com.
“It’s really sad because a lot of people are focusing on ‘Why did she stay?’” Clester said. “People don’t understand when you’re in a domestic violence relationship, how hard it is to get out. The fear, the intimidation, the manipulation, financial control — all of that is taking place behind closed doors. And a lot of people don’t even know it’s going on. Sometimes when a survivor of domestic violence tries to come forward, they fear that family or friends or even law enforcement might not believe them.”
According to a 1995 survey by the Department of Justice, Clester noted that 75 percent of domestic violence victims were killed by their partner after the relationship had ended or while they tried leaving them.
Fernandez, the St. Petersburg police spokesperson, also urged other victims of domestic abuse, whose lives may be in danger, to seek support at organizations like CASA.
“We want anybody who’s in a violent relationship to know that they’re not alone,” said Fernandez. “There is help. There are shelters here in our area for battered spouses and significant others. There are shelters all over our country that specialize in helping people get out of difficult situations safely.”
Brown is being held on a $10,000 bond related to his pre-trial violations regarding the earlier domestic incident at the couple’s home this month, according to online court records.
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