Several drugs detected in bodies of Florida Keys double homicide victims

Tara Rosado and Carlos Ortiz were shot to death on Oct. 15, 2015.
Tara Rosado and Carlos Ortiz were shot to death on Oct. 15, 2015.

Autopsy and toxicology reports for an Upper Keys couple fatally shot in their Tavernier home in October show each suffered one gunshot to the head, and both tested positive for several types of street and prescription drugs.

Tara Rosado, 26, and her boyfriend, Carlos Ortiz, 30, were found dead in their home on Cuba Road at 2 p.m. Oct. 16 by their next door neighbor, who entered the house after seeing Rosado’s three young children in the couple’s front yard.

The children — ages 3,4 and 8 — told the neighbor, Travis Kvadus, the bodies of their mother and Ortiz were inside.

Kvadus found the corpses in the bedroom. Ortiz’s body was lying on the floor. Rosado’s was in bed. Detectives theorize they were killed sometime around 10 p.m. Oct. 15, meaning the children were alone with the bodies at least 16 hours before Kvadus found them.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office detectives have released few details about the case since the shootings, but have said they believe Rosado and Ortiz were targeted and the murders were not random.

“There appears to be no danger to anyone else in the community,” said Deputy Becky Herrin, the Sheriff’s Office public information officer.

Rosado’s family is caring for her children.

Monroe County Medical Examiner Thomas Beaver wrote in his autopsy report that Rosado was shot once in the back of the head, and the bullet exited through the right side of her jaw.

Ortiz was shot once through the forehead. The bullet exited behind his left ear, according to Beaver’s report.

Toxicology samples were sent to AIT Laboratories in Indianapolis, Ind. Tests of Rosado’s blood came back positive for marijuana, cocaine, the anxiety drug Xanax and the prescription pain killer Oxycodone.

Ortiz’s blood tested positive for marijuana, morphine and Oxycodone. 

Ortiz had a substantial criminal record in Miami-Dade County on charges ranging from marijuana trafficking to armed robbery. He was arrested last March on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

According to Ortiz’s Facebook page, he was about to open the doors to his tattoo and smoke shop, Ink-Your Dreamzzz, in Key Largo before he was killed.

A friend who did not want to be identified said Rosado began dating Ortiz about five months before the murders.

If the Oct. 15 killing was targeted, the friend told The Reporter in an Oct. 19 interview, it was likely committed by someone who knew Ortiz, because, to the friend’s knowledge, Rosado didn’t really have any enemies. 

“Tara wasn’t really that type of person who would have someone come after her. She didn’t fight with people or get into arguments,” the friend said. 

The former Tara O’Brien and her now ex-husband Juan Rosado moved to Tavernier from Allentown, Pa., with their children about two years ago. She grew up in Staten Island, N.Y. 

Tara filed for divorce in late October 2014, according to court records. Some time that year, the family was referred to investigators with the Florida Department of Children and Families, agency spokeswoman Ana Valdes said.

Tara Rosado agreed to enroll in a "parenting plan" on Nov. 19, 2014. According to court records, Juan Rosado did not. Tara Rosado completed the parenting plan on April 24 of this year. The Rosados' divorce was finalized in May. Juan Rosado could not be reached for comment. 

Tara Rosado worked at Domino's in Key Largo and most recently at the Jacobs Aquatic Center, also in Key Largo, as a lifeguard. Jacobs manager Corky Wagner said she worked at the pool complex for about five months, but hasn't been employed there for a few months. He remembers Rosado as friendly and a popular employee.