Police: 3 adults, 3 dogs found dead inside Tarpon Springs home

Multiple people found dead 'under suspicious circumstances' on New Year's Day in Tarpon Springs
Posted at 3:04 PM, Jan 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-02 13:55:19-05

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Tarpon Springs police officers are investigating after discovering multiple people deceased under suspicious circumstances inside a residence on New Year's Day.

Officers responded to the 1900 block of Juanita Way, on Tuesday, at approximately 12:22 p.m., about a welfare check. The residence is inside a retirement community called The Meadows.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, Major Jeff Young said they found three adults and three dogs killed inside the home after obtaining a search warrant to enter the location and conduct an investigation. The bodies were found in an "advanced state of decomposition."

"The air conditioners been running about a week and a half and I could smell an odor too my dog could smell it, you know, I never thought about that," Joe McGinley said.

McGinley lives a few doors down from the crime scene. He walks his dog by the home daily. Just before Christmas, he said a man started digging a hole in front of the house. McGinley said that man is the elderly couple that lives at the home's son.

"That hole and that was kind of unusual," McGinley said. "Even Sandy, my neighbor, we talked about it. It looks like a darn grave. Back then we said that kiddingly, and now with this oh my god maybe the guy was digging a grave or something."

A forensics team from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office measured the hole and collected some of the dirt for evidence.

Investigators tell us this is not a random murder. Police are assuring the community in an afternoon meeting that the retirement community is safe.

"I'm not scared," one resident that didn't want to be identified told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska following the meeting.

Police have not released suspect information or a possible motive. People in the 55+ community still want answers and the killer captured.

"Shocked. I mean my goodness this is mayhem at The Meadows I don’t know how else to put it. This is crazy. I mean this is such a quiet neighborhood and older community, now this is like a crime scene," Shawna Shaney said.

Young said the identities of the homicide victims would be released after an autopsy is performed on Thursday.

Three people, three dogs killed inside Tarpon Springs home | Press Conference

"It’s shocking," resident Grant Pursell said. "It’s a very quiet mobile home park. We’ve never had any kind of issues."

Police said they believe the triple homicide was not random and the suspect(s) are known to the victims.

Anyone who "sees something in their community that seems off, not just in this case, but any case — even if it seems minor" is urged to call the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

ABC Action News' Michael Paluska contributed to this report.