|Published:||Jul 31, 2012 10:33 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 31, 2012 10:33 PM EDT|
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Two suspects were named Tuesday in a Lee County murder investigation.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office said Dustin Dean Jaye, 23, was arrested Tuesday on felony murder charges in the death of Debra Striano, 55. He's expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.
A second suspect, identified as Jaye's uncle, Billy Ray Retherford, Jr., 42 (pictured), is wanted by investigators in the case.
News of the arrests comes exactly one week after Striano's body was found in her home off Oakmont Ridge Circle in San Carlos Park.
"A series of nightmares every night (since then)," said Striano's boyfriend, Russell Myers. "For my safety, from the experience of what I walked in on."
Myers came home from a quick trip to the store last Tuesday, to find Striano and their dog Scruffy covered in blood on the floor.
"When you see Scruffy, you can see up close and personal what was inflicted by these terrible people," Myers said of the dog, which has several stitches after the crime. "I'm sure he tried to protect poor Debby."
Sheriff Mike Scott said the dog indeed played a key role in their case.
"Perhaps trying to protect the master," Sheriff Scott said. "And as a result of doing so, possibly creating further evidence in this case."
The Sheriff won't say exactly hand the two suspects as "career criminals," while consideringow Striano was killed, but he described the crime scene as "brutal," Billy Retherford, Jr.to be dangerous.
"It's just a matter of time, he's on borrowed time, he knows we're after him, he's laying low, but we believe he's still in this area," Sheriff Scott said.
The Sheriff says the home was targeted.
Russell Myers says he'd only met the younger suspect.
"I met Dustin Jaye through his sister. But not well at all. I just seen him, he's very quiet, kept to himself kind of person," Myers said.
Investigators say the suspects knew of valuables inside the home. Myers isn't sure what that is, or what would be worth killing Striano.
"To me, they're trying to play God by taking someone else's life, which is something that should never have happened," Myers said.