Crime

Two weeks later, double killer still on the loose

Whoever killed a Tavernier couple shot to death Oct. 15 probably was not looking for Tara Rosado.

"Detectives are beginning to narrow the focus on connections to [Carlos Ortiz], the male victim," Monroe County Sheriff's Office information officer Deputy Becky Herrin said Tuesday. "The detectives are looking at his connections and recent activities."

Rosado, a 26-year-old mother of three, and boyfriend Ortiz, 30, were found dead in a bedroom of their home on Cuba Road. The street dead-ends in mangroves between U.S. 1 and Harry Harris County Park, oceanside off mile marker 92.8.

Three children in the home were unharmed.

"Detectives believe [Ortiz and Rosado] definitely were targeted," Herrin said. "There appears to be no danger to anyone else in the community."

According to sounds heard by neighbors, the shooting apparently occurred around 10 p.m. Oct. 15. The neighbors dismissed the noise as people putting out trash cans for morning collection.

Next-door neighbor Travis Kvadus discovered the two bodies at 2 p.m. Oct. 16 after Rosado's children told him their mother and Ortiz were dead.

"It looks like they were shot where they landed," Kvadus said. 

Ortiz was lying on the floor. Rosado was in the bed.

"The house was not ransacked," Herrin said. "The killer or killers did not spend a lot of time in the house."

"The detectives are methodically working the leads," Herrin said.

Friends of the couple say they suspect Ortiz may have owed money to dangerous people.

Investigators have spoken to people listed as contacts on Rosado's cell phone. Rosado had worked at a Domino's Pizza shop in the Upper Keys and previously at the Jacobs Aquatic Center at the Key Largo Community Park.

Rosado "was very nice and pleasant," Jacobs center manager Corky Wagner said. "She got along great with the other [life] guards."

Ortiz had an extensive criminal record in Miami-Dade County on charges ranging from marijuana trafficking to armed robbery. His most recent arrest was on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in March. 

Rosado's three children -- ages 3, 4 and 8 -- are living with family members in the Upper Keys. "They're doing OK, considering what they've been through," Herrin said.

The multiple murders were the first in Monroe County since 1992. Missy and Michael MacIvor, along with their unborn child, were slain in their north Plantation Key home. A burglar, Thomas Overton, has been sentenced to death in that crime, inside a gated community.

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