New search into Clearwater woman's disappearance
The sheriff said detectives believe Roberta Cable's roommate, Jerry Gaston, killed her and hid her body.
Detectives executed a search warrant Tuesday night at the home where Gaston and Cable lived for six weeks, until she vanished.
"It was really like she just disappeared, fell of the face of the Earth after December 14th of 2013," Gualtieri said during a news conference.
Gualtieri described how investigators spent the last 19 months gathering enough evidence to get a search warrant for the home on Owen Drive, which Gaston owns.
Cable's family and friends first notified the sheriff's office that she was missing in late December 2013, when she stopped contacting them. Detectives determined she was no longer using her credit cards, debit cards or her cell phone and ruled her disappearance "suspicious."
The sheriff said, as deputies looked into the case, they determined Gaston and Cable had a "contentious" relationship and often argued about her marijuana use. Investigators said Gaston wanted her to move out, which he told them she eventually did.
But deputies believe Gaston has been giving inconsistent statements from the beginning and have suspected his involvement for months.
"All the indicators are that Gaston did it. We're comfortable saying that we believe that's the case," Gualtieri added.
The sheriff said detectives have found several pieces of evidence around Gaston's Owen Drive property and in the septic tank but wouldn't go into further detail.
He was blunt about what they were looking for.
"Making sure there isn't a make-shift grave or she isn't buried somewhere back there or that her remains aren't back there," the sheriff said, adding no remains have been found. "We're going through literally every square inch of it."
Gualtieri said Gaston is still in the area and that deputies are keeping a close eye on him.
Neighbors, meanwhile, said if he's guilty they'd rather he not come back.
"I have a four-month old and the fact that someone potentially next door could have killed someone, it's scary," said Krystal Shull, who lives across the street. "Nobody wants to be around that or think that their neighbor could possibly do something so horrible as that."
Detectives also combed through a property in Inverness that Gaston previously owned but did not find any remains.
Gaston, whose current location was not being released by the sheriff's office, has not been charged but the sheriff said he hopes deputies will find enough evidence to be able to do so.