Husband in custody after children find mother dead in Orange County home

29-year-old mother of four killed by husband, deputies say

ORLANDO, Fla. – Children called 911 Wednesday morning after finding their mother dead inside their home in Orange County near the University of Central Florida, according to deputies.

The homicide was reported in the 4900 block of Blackburn Court, east of UCF's campus and south of McCulloch Road, shortly before 8 a.m.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Brooke Jenkins-Pugh, 29, the mother of the four children inside the home, was killed by her husband, 29-year-old Nelonza Pugh.

"Another tragic incident of domestic violence in our community right before Christmas," Mina said.

Pugh was not immediately located, but was later found and taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was charged with first-degree murder and booked into Orange County Jail, according to deputies.

One of the children inside the home told deputies that he or she heard the couple arguing around 1 a.m. Authorities have not said what the argument was about or how Jenkins-Pugh was killed.

The four children inside the home -- ranging in age from 2 to 13 -- were unharmed. They will be meeting with child services and victim advocates.

“We can only imagine what they’re feeling, that’s why they’re with the experts ... to help them, guide their way through all of those feelings," Mina said.

Authorities said there were no prior reports of domestic violence between the couple but Pugh does have an extensive criminal history that includes 27 felony arrests and one felony conviction.

Neighbors described the community as quiet and said they were shocked to learn what happened.
 
"It's just such a miserable thing at this particular time of the year," neighbor Charlie Goodwin said. "The poor kids didn't ask for this. That's the tragic part of this. Unbelievable."

A homicide investigation is underway in an Orange County neighborhood.

About the Authors: