Murder suspect arrested, another man still at large

Mike Mason

Murder suspect arrested, another man still at large

CREATED Jul. 31, 2012 - UPDATED: Jul. 31, 2012

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - The hunt is on for a man wanted in connection with a brutal murder of a Lee County woman. This as the Sheriff's Office arrested another man for the same crime. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is following this one.

A tragic story; a woman loved by all who knew her, even her dog getting attacked as he tried to save her. Tonight, one suspected killer is behind bars and the other is still on the loose. Today, the Sheriff's Office announcing they've arrested a man suspected of a violent murder.

Sheriff Mike Scott: "It was a brutal scene. Very, very brutal scene where there was a lot of evidence left behind."

That evidence led deputies to 23 year old Dustin Jaye and his uncle, 42 year old Billy Retherford.  Both men wanted in connection to the murder of Debra Striano. At this point, officers have only arrested Jaye, his uncle is still on the loose.

Sheriff Mike Scott: "We want Retherford off the street so please we appeal to the public; viewing, listening and reading public thank you for being here."

Sheriff Mike Scott holding a press conference today but keeping tight-lipped about the details surrounding this murder. We do know it happened last Tuesday. Deputies arrived to find Striano inside her San Carlos Park home, dead. The couple's dog, Scruffy, was also found with wounds to his neck.

Russell Myers: "He has a lot of stitches."

Striano's boyfriend, Russell Myers, thinks Scruffy was attacked while trying to protect Striano.

Russell Myers: "This is the first time that he was ever in a situation where I think he ever met bad people."

Investigators say Jaye  and Retherford went to Striano's home because they knew there were valuable items inside. Now Jaye faces felony murder charges but Retherford is wanted for violating probation, murder charges on him are pending

Retherford is no stranger to law enforcement. He's been charged with numerous crimes including burglary, grand theft and an out of county hit.

Sheriff Mike Scott: "A career criminal, 4 trips to prison, 14 to 15 years of his life spent in prison, still at large. He would be considered dangerous."

Neighbors say Striano and her boyfriend were well known and well liked. They don't understand how anyone could have done this.

Neighbor: "They were really, really nice people."

Retherford is known to frequent North Fort Myers, especially around Suncoast Estates. He has a tatoo with the name "Michelle" on his arm.  If you know anything about where he is contact Southwest Florida Crimestoppers.....the number is 1-800-780-TIPS.
 

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