Arrest affidavit: Homicide victim worried her son would kill her
A Cape Coral man is accused of beating his mother to death and attempting to clean up evidence by dousing her in a mixture of soap, water, and hydrogen peroxide, all while attempting to score drugs.
Michael Tortolani was arrested on Oct. 4 last year after police officers found his mother dead in a bathtub at a home in the 4800 block of Triton Court East in Cape Coral.
The victim’s name was not released by police.
Cape Coral police announced last week they were filing second-degree murder charges against Tortolani, 26.
An arrest affidavit details the day leading up to the woman’s death, including an initial call to police after neighbors watched Tortolani punch and kick his father and then turn on his mother, punching her twice in the face when she attempted to intervene.
A neighbor told police the woman seemed concussed.
When police arrived, the family lied to officers and told them there was no violence at the home.
After the initial fight, Tortolani left with a friend and returned later that evening, the affidavit states.
When he returned, neighbors told police officers they heard someone yelling “wake up, wake up.”
Evidence against Tortolani includes Facebook messages to a friend, including a photo he sent of his lifeless mother.
The friend, who urged Tortolani to call 911 to help his mom, told officers Tortolani was mad because his mother took some of his Xanax.
In audio messages to his friend, police report, Tortolani was trying to score drugs.
“… plz I need something bad,” he said in a text.
Tortolani told his friend he was waiting for his father to arrive from work before calling for help for his mother.
“I have been with my mom for the last hour and a half,” Tortolani said, according to a transcription of an audio message. “I’m waiting for my dad to get off work so he can be a witness, OK? I have a resisting officer with violence and I have a battery LEO, and I have a simple assault which means I am an aggressive offender!”
“I could go away,” he added.
Police were called when a friend of Tortolani’s arrived at the home and saw the woman in the bathtub. The friend left the apartment and went to a neighbor’s apartment to call the police.
An autopsy of the woman found the homicide was due to blunt force head trauma, the affidavit shows. She had two black eyes and abrasions on her face and neck.
That his mother’s life ended this way was not a surprise to one person interviewed by officers.
The family friend told police she lived with the woman and Tortolani for years and had seen him “strike, push the victim onto the ground, and put cigarettes out” on his mother.
His mother once told the friend that “she was afraid (Tortolani) would kill her one day.”
Tortolani has pleaded not guilty.
Lee County Jail records indicate Tortolani remains in custody; however, court records show Tortolani has been granted a supervised release including electronic monitoring and a no-contact order.
Tortolani may only leave his home for medical appointments, grocery shopping, religious services or to meet his attorney, records show.