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'She's out like a light:' Man accused of strangling roommate in Casselberry

Suspect uncooperative in investigation, police say

William Pyle and Pamela Rooks
William Pyle and Pamela Rooks

CASSELBERRY, Fla. – A man with a violent criminal history was arrested on a first-degree murder charge after Casselberry police say he strangled his roommate on Wednesday.

Pamela Rooks, 55, was found dead at the Summit Village condos off Semoran Boulevard near Lake Howell after the mother of her roommate and on-again, off-again boyfriend William Pyle called 911.

"I don't know, my son just called me he said mother get over here, I walk in the door she's laying on the floor. He said he and she got into a quarrel, she hit the wall and then she grabbed her chest and hit the floor," Pyle's mother told a 911 operator.

The woman also told the operator that Rooks was unconscious and said, "...she's out like a light."

Rooks was pronounced dead at the scene when authorities arrived, according to a news release. An autopsy determined her cause of death was strangulation with signs of blunt force trauma.

Pyle was not immediately named as a person of interest or suspect in the case, but on Friday police announced his arrest. Authorities said they charged Pyle with first-degree murder based on the findings of Rooks' autopsy, but they did not release any other information about the circumstances surrounding the crime and the arrest.

Authorities said they charged Pyle with first-degree murder based on the findings of Rooks' autopsy, but they did not release any other information about the circumstances surrounding the crime and the arrest.

"Based off of that, we knew we had a homicide case," Commander William Nas, with the Casselberry Police Department, said.

The autopsy determined her cause of death was strangulation with signs of blunt force trauma.

Dean Shirley is a childhood friend who grew up with Rooks in Apopka. 

"I'm still in shock," Shirley said. "My emotions are traveling in a big circle, anger, you want to cry, you just want to be held and you just want to hold."

He said that the two had struggles in the past and that Pyle had been violent with Rooks before, but didn't offer more details.

"He was a violent man," Shirley said. "He's proven to be a violent man and there is no way Pam would start any type of quarrel or provoke him in any way."

That's because he said all Pam knew was how to love, and in this case loved too much. 

"It was just one of those things that she just wanted to help people and help him in particular because he had some issues," he said. "But you have to let your mind speak, too -- not just your heart."

Records show Pyle was convicted of burglary with assault or battery in 2016. He also has other charges dating back to 2015, including domestic battery and driving under the influence.

Pyle is being held at the Orange County Jail without bond. Police said he is not cooperating with the investigation.


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