Mentally disabled man found after caretaker found dead
ZEPHYRHILLS (FOX 13) - The mentally disabled man who went missing after his caretaker's body was found in a Grand Reserve apartment was found Wednesday afternoon.
Zephyrhills police and the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Tijauni Stone was taken into custody. He was found at a Wesley Chapel address.
Police said they wanted to ask Stone about his caretaker's death, but did not say if charges were being filed or if Stone was a person of interest in the case.
Zephyrhills police began looking for Stone Wednesday after they went to 38450 Valley Oaks #214 on December 28 about a "suspicious incident." When they got there, apartment management had entered the apartment to check the well-being of the tenant and found her body.
The tenant was said to have missed church and other community functions she regularly attends. Management told police they found the front door unlocked and the woman's body inside.
She was identified as 60-year-old Winnifred Francis-Ellis. Her family said 26-year-old Stone was living with Francis-Ellis while his mother was in London. Stone was said to be autistic and to have Down syndrome.
Neighbors told FOX 13 News, Francis-Ellis was a nice woman and were shocked to hear she died.
"My impression of her was she was a wonderful lady, a Christian lady, a wonderful lady," remembered neighbor Estela Rivera. "I was shocked completely shocked."
Police said they think foul play was involved in her death, but do not have her cause of death.
Neighbor Susan Sherwood remembered, "every time I saw her, she had something kind to say. She was nice to everybody... I was really shocked. I think its horrible...horrific. I think about it almost every moment. So terrible."
Stone was also described by family as having the mentality of a 5-year-old and a tendency to be aggressive and violent.
Anyone with information about this case was asked to contact either Sergeant Detective Roberts or Detective Amin at the Zephyrhills Police Department at (813) 780-0050.