After a 73-year-old old woman allowed her down-on-his-luck nephew to live with her at her Florida home because he had no where else to go, the man is accused of stabbing her to death with a ceramic-style knife.
Antelo Simpson, 30, faces a first-degree murder charge, according to the Tampa Police Department. Local NBC affiliate WFLA identified the victim as Sandra Bailey.
“It is heartbreaking to know that a family lost a loved one so tragically,” Tampa police Chief Lee Bercaw said in a statement. “Although it cannot replace their loved one, I hope there is a small amount of comfort that the family is able to find in knowing that detectives were able to find closure in less than 24 hours. It is in cases like this one, that show how dedicated our detectives and department are to find justice for the victim and their loved ones as well.”
A probable cause arrest arrest affidavit said a woman called 911 shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday to say her mother was dead and “there was blood all over.” Police and paramedics responded to the apartment north of downtown and declared Bailey deceased from “sharp force injuries.” Paramedics reported she had stab wounds to the left side of her neck and bruising to her back. They saw bloody shoe prints inside the apartment and a blood trail between the bathroom and living room.
There was also blood splattered and smeared on the bathroom door and walls. Bailey was located facedown on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet. A black and red size 7 shoe next to her body that matched the bloody footprints in the home was next to her body.
“She was naked from the waist down with a pair of jeans on top of her and a towel laid over her body,” the affidavit said.
Bailey’s purse strap was broken and several debit cards and her phone were missing.
Family members told detectives that Bailey had taken in her sister and nephew, later identified as Simpson, for about three or four weeks because they had no where else to live. Her sister slept on the couch while her nephew slept on the porch before they recently moved to stay at a friend’s home. While on scene, Simpson’s mother agreed to go to Tampa police headquarters but he refused. He also declined to allow police to photograph the bottom of his shoes and claimed he wore a size 8 shoe, the affidavit said.
Through interviews with family and neighbors, detectives determined Bailey was last seen alive on Monday when she got locked out of her apartment. A family member came over to let her in and said Simpson was with her when he left.
Simpson’s mother said her son was wearing a black shirt, camo shorts and red and black low top sneakers early Monday. Detectives showed her a picture of the shoe found next to Bailey’s body and she identified it as the same one her son was wearing. When he came home later that day he was wearing the same clothes, but different shoes, she told investigators. He claimed he lost them while running from some people. He also gave her a turquoise colored ceramic-style knife she usually keeps in her storage unit, which she later returned, the affidavit said.
Detectives executed a search warrant on the storage unit and found the knife, along with bloody camo shorts and boxers. They also found the knife, the affidavit said. Surveillance footage from earlier Wednesday showed Simpson and his mother at the storage facility.
In an interview, Simpson allegedly admitted to detectives that he was at the home Monday. He claimed Bailey asked her to leave and he did, according to authorities. He allegedly also attributed the cut on his hand to a fight with someone else, but had no explanation to his shoe being in the bathroom or his bloody palm print located on the bathtub near where his aunt’s body.
Simpson was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail where he is being held without bond.
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