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Sarasota Police investigating pair of homicides on Tamiami Trail

Two women found dead nine blocks apart between Feb. 25 and Thursday.

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Sarasota Police are investigating as homicides the deaths of two Sarasota women, the bodies of whom were found near water nine blocks apart on Tamiami Trail over the course of 13 days, police said.

The identities of the women were not released under Florida’s victim’s rights laws, and Interim Police Chief Rex Troche said at a Friday news conference it’s not immediately known if the two women knew each other or knew someone else in common.

Details of the circumstances of their deaths beyond basic information are under investigation and some information critical to the cases is being withheld, Troche said. In a message to the media on Monday morning, police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge said no additional information was available for release. 

In both cases, the bodies were found alongside areas connected to Sarasota Bay.

In the latest case, the body of a 59-year-old woman was discovered just before 4 p.m. Thursday near Whitaker Bayou, in the 1900 block of Tamiami Trail.  

Around 5 p.m. on Feb. 25, the body of a 48-year-old woman was found near the Centennial Park boat ramp in the 1000 block of Tamiami Trail.  

"Obviously our main concern, one, is that this doesn't occur again, that's our main concern,'' Troche said. "Obviously this is a top priority of our agency to make sure get this killer, or killers, before anything happens again.''

Troche said it was too early in the investigation to draw comparisons to the two cases. Circumstances related to how the bodies were found, potential weapons, times of death and other factors were not released.

"There are certain facts in our investigation we don't want to give out that may hinder  further investigation,'' he said. 

Troche said there have been six homicides in the city in 2022, all of which have resulted in arrests. 

Troche urged residents to contact police if they think they may have information on either of the two cases.

"I think everybody should be vigilant within our city,'' he said. "I think we need to look out, not only for yourselves, but you need to look out for your neighbors as well. I think people out there need to know that there isn't information that is too miniscule, too minor.

"Call us. Let the officers come out, and if it's something that's not related, then we'll figure that out but don't feel like it's information that 'I'm not going to call them because I don't really think it's a big deal and I don't want to bother the police.' You're not bothering us, you're helping us.''