2 charged with second-degree murder of Leesburg woman, cops say
Both suspects in custody
LEESBURG, Fla. – Police said Bernadine Montgomery has been missing for weeks, and now two people have been charged with second-degree murder of the Leesburg woman.
The Leesburg Police Department said at a press conference Saturday morning that second-degree murder charges have been filed against Tracie Jo Naffziger, 40, and David Adam Mariotti, 34.
Both Natffzinger and Mariotti were acquaintances of Bernadine Montgomery.
"They were familiar with her as she was with them. They came and went from the house on a regular basis, on a somewhat frequent basis and this just happened to be the time things went south," Lt. Joe Iozzi with the Leesburg Police Department said.
Authorities said that Montgomery was murdered in her home, and her body was taken to the Palatka area, shortly after the killing. Police are currently looking in that area, trying to recover her remains.
"Through the course of the investigation, we received enough information that we have a specific area that we're searching at this time," Iozzi said.
Police said Montgomery was reported missing on June 22, but the murder is believed to have happened a week prior to that date. Her family, local clergy, church, Morrison United Methodist Church, and the executive of her estate have been notified.
"From the beginning of this case, detectives have been working diligently, around the clock, to solve this crime and provide some level of closure for the family, friends, and neighbors of Ms. Montgomery," Iozzi said.
Originally, a person of interest was charged after her car was located, but those charges have now been dropped.
Naffziger is currently in the Lake County jail, and Mariotti is in the Gilchrist County jail.
Naffziger has prior arrests including possession of Oxycodone, organized fraud less than $20,000, fraudulent use of personal ID, petit theft stolen property less than $300 and unlawful use of credit cards.
Naffziger has a total of seven charges against her. Six counts of fraud with no bond set and the charge of second degree murder with bond set at $50,000..
Mariotti also has prior arrests, which include, contempt of court criminal contempt, larceny theft of $300 or more but less than $5000, dealing in stolen property, out of county warrant, fraud, impersonation false ID given to law enforcement, resisting an officer without violence, grand theft over 300 less than 5000, operating a vehicle while drivers license is suspended, several charges of possession of methamphetamine, drug equipment possession and or use, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, and selling methamphetamine
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