MOUNT DORA, Fla. – A person of interest in the deaths of a Mount Dora husband and wife is in custody, according to interim police Chief Mike Gibson.
City officials held a news conference Tuesday on the ongoing homicide investigation of a husband and wife, later identified as Darryl and Sharon Getman, who were found dead at a Mount Dora senior living community over the weekend.
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Gibson said that on Dec. 30 around 3 p.m., a female “dressed in a particular way” was escorted out of the senior living complex by Waterman security. On the same day, around 4:14 p.m. the same woman was captured on a security camera on Lake Margaret Circle again. At 10:58 p.m., the woman entered the facility located at 301 Lake Margaret Circle – the “big tower up front,” Gibson added.
Police said the woman went to an apartment and knocked on the door and made contact with a woman inside, asking the resident if she could take a shower.
“The alert tenant panicked, got scared — as I would — and she hit her alarm button,” Gibson said.
Gibson said the person of interest asked the woman if she called 911 and when the woman replied that she did, the person of interest grabbed a set of keys and left. Police and security responded, but were unable to locate the person of interest.
On Dec. 31, around 2:02 a.m., Gibson said that the Getmans’ vehicle was seen leaving the property.
The person of interest returned to the property about 10 minutes later but was refused access by security, according to Gibson. She was then followed by security to a service road where they lost sight of her.
At around 4 p.m. that same day, the Getmans were discovered dead in their apartment, according to investigators.
Gibson said that on Jan. 2, law enforcement found the couple’s car with the person of interest inside in another state. He would not elaborate on which state the vehicle and the woman were discovered in. Gibson said the woman is currently being held on theft charges related to the vehicle, but she is a person of interest in the couple’s deaths.
“It appears it was a random crime,” Gibson said. “I believe it was someone that was simply passing through and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event.”
Gibson also said that the set of keys that the woman grabbed from a different resident’s apartment was not the keys to the Getmans’ vehicle.
The Mount Dora Police Department previously said officers responded to Waterman Village around 4 p.m. on Saturday after receiving a report of potential suspicious activity. The department did not give information on how the man and woman were killed, but Gibson said it is “purely a homicide investigation,” adding they were residents of the community.
“We are shocked and saddened by the recent deaths of our residents which are currently under investigation. Mt. Dora Police Chief Mike Gibson has reassured us that our city is safe and that our residents are safe,” Waterman Village said in a statement on Tuesday, adding it is fully cooperating with the investigation and has additional police presence on property at this time.
The couple’s children, Anthony and Brittany Getman, also released a statement Wednesday following their parents’ death.
Mayor Crissy Stile reiterated to residents there is “no need to feel unsafe in our city.”
“There is no need to feel like you should have to watch your back. You’re as safe as you were two, three days ago, two weeks ago,” she said. “This is, as we met with the folks at Waterman Village this morning, this is something that doesn’t normally happen in our city. So we are still safe.”
Tuesday night, both Gibson and Stile told News 6 that detectives have been dedicated to getting to the bottom of this case.
“My number one goal is certainly to solve the crime,” Gibson said. “This is a tragedy to them. One night, they have a mom and a dad. (They) wake up the next morning, they don’t. So it’s tragic. There’s a lot of things to process.”
Stile said that after speaking with neighbors, it was clear the couple was well liked in the community.
“They were a great part of the community. I’m sad I didn’t get to meet them,” Stile said. “I’m sad I won’t get the opportunity to meet them. Talking to the residents at Waterman, there certainly is a concern. There’s a concern throughout the city, of course.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the department at 352-735-7130 or Crimeline at 800-423-8477 to remain anonymous.
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