A man and woman in Florida are accused of murdering two people eight days apart last month in what police believe were targeted attacks, authorities said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office arrested Daniel Negrete, 27, and Fatima Garcia Avila, 20, in connection with the slayings and charged them each with multiple crimes, including two counts of first-degree murder.
On July 18, police claim Negrete and Avila drove together to the first victim’s residence in Dover and then left in separate vehicles, one of which was later found torched.
Detectives then responded to a boat ramp in Thonotosassa on July 26 after receiving a report about a person down.
“They discovered an adult male victim deceased from upper body trauma, and again through investigative means, have determined that both Negrete and Garcia Avila were there at the time of the crime and responsible for the man's death,” the sheriff’s office said.
In both cases, the victims "were not killed at random," the sheriff's office continued, adding that detectives “confirmed there are familial ties between the suspects and the victims.”
“Detectives are still connecting the dots to determine the motive behind the two murders and if there are others involved,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “I pray that these arrests, while they won't bring home their loved ones, will give the families affected some closure."
“These senseless killings have forever changed at least two families,” Chronister noted. “Ending someone's life cannot — and should not — be the answer to any situation.”