Boynton woman arrested wanted husband dead

August 5, 2009 by  
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BOYNTON BEACH, FL — Boynton Beach Police have charged a woman in a murder-for-hire plot. The intended target was her husband.


According to police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater, Dalia Dippolito is charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

This morning, Dalia received a phone call while working out at the gym. When she got home she found police crime tape around her townhouse, with a crime scene technician dusting for fingerprints.

A Boynton Beach detective then informed her that her husband was the victim of a murder and was dead. Slater says Dalia collapsed into the sergeant’s arms and sobbed.

Dippolito was then taken to police headquarters where she came face-to-face with the man police said was the killer, who shot her husband twice in the head.

It turns out that “killer” was actually an undercover police officer. She then learned her husband was actually alive in the next room.

The crime began on Friday night, when Boynton Beach police received information from a confidential informant who said that Dippolito wanted to hire someone to kill her husband of six months.

On Saturday afternoon, police say she and the confidential informant met in a car at Mobil gas station on Gateway Boulevard to make the arrangements.

During the conversation, police say she gave the confidential informant a down payment of $1,200 for the hit man to buy a handgun to be used as the murder weapon. She also provided photos of her husband and their home. Police say she asked when the murder was going to happen and offered to get her hair done in Boca Raton to create an alibi.

She also spoke about how she would deny her involvement and provide police false information and names to keep the investigation away from her, according to police.

Police say before leaving the car, she asked if this was a “solid deal” and said she didn’t want to hear any excuses later about why it did not happen.

On Monday afternoon, Dippolito met with an undercover BBPD officer posing as the hired hit man in the parking lot of a CVS. During this encounter, the undercover agent asked if she was sure she wanted him killed.

Dippolito laughed and said, “I will be very happy.” She agreed to pay him $3,000 when the job was done, according to police.

The undercover officer asked her one more time if she was sure about having her husband killed. She responded, “I’m not going to change my mind. I am 5,000% sure I want it done. When I set my mind to something, I get it done,” police said.


Watch here as Boynton Beach Police inform Dalia Dippolito that her husband is dead. The twist – Dippolito paid an undercover Boynton Beach Police Officer to have him killed. She soon learns that her husband is very much alive and she’s being charged with soliciation to commit first-degree murder.

Ocean Ridge Head-on collision kills one person

July 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Local News, Vehicle Accidents

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OCEAN RIDGE — A Georgian woman died early this morning after a head-on collision with another car on Ocean Boulevard, authorities said.

Luci D. Menegolo, 55, of Kennesaw, Ga., was heading northbound on the 6800 block of Ocean Boulevard at about 2:12 a.m. today when, going around a curve in the road, she drove her car into the southbound lane and hit another car, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office. Menegolo, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from her car and died at the scene, according to the police report.

The other driver, Cherry M. Cheek, 49, of Boynton Beach, received minor injuries and was taken to Delray Medical Center.

Alcohol tests are pending for Menegolo.


Woman wanted for questioning in Fla. killings case

July 15, 2009 by  
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PENSACOLA, Florida (CNN) — Authorities have located a woman they want to question in connection with the slaying of a couple who adopted special-needs children, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said Wednesday.


Pamela Laverne Long was found in Orange Beach, Alabama, Morgan said. The sheriff had said earlier that Long is a real estate agent who had rented property to Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr., one of the suspects already arrested in the case.

She is returning to Escambia County, Florida, with her attorney, he said, but she is not in law enforcement custody.

“It is my understanding that she’s currently being cooperative,” he said. Authorities had no contact with her for 48 hours, he said, explaining she was “not in the public eye” and was not in contact with her friends and neighbors.

Authorities were concerned for her safety, he said.

The sheriff said a second “person of interest” was also being sought for questioning, but he did not elaborate.

Byrd and Melanie Billings were shot and killed July 9 in their Beulah, Florida, home near the Alabama state line. Law enforcement officials said a safe and other items were missing from the house and have cited robbery as a motive.

Seven males– one of them a 16-year-old — are already in custody and will face murder charges in the killings. Morgan said the seven suspects are the ones who actually entered the Billingses’ home.

Police said Tuesday they know the name and location of one more suspect involved in the crime. Morgan would not say Wednesday if Long was that person.

The sheriff’s news conference came shortly after the Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed it is assisting in the probe of the murders.

“Escambia County sheriff’s department did call for our assistance this week,” David Melenkevitz, spokesman for the DEA in Miami, Florida, said.

Morgan wouldn’t confirm the DEA’s involvement during the briefing to reporters.

The Billingses at one time had 13 adopted children, many with special needs. Three of those children had died over the years. The couple also each had two biological children of their own, but no biological children together.

Nine of the couple’s children were home at the time of the incident, Morgan said Tuesday, and police believe three of them saw the intruders. One managed to flee the home and seek help at a neighbor’s house, the sheriff said.

Authorities have said the break-in was well-rehearsed and that at least two of the suspects had military training. Morgan said the men were on the Billingses’ property for 10 minutes and were in and out of the house in four.

But the sheriff said Wednesday there was a “gaping hole” in what was otherwise a well-executed crime: “Why was the security system not disabled?”

“The execution was basically flawless,” and authorities believe the suspects “entered the compound with the belief that they were not under surveillance,” Morgan said.

“We’re now looking at anyone who may have had an involvement with the security system,” he said. “We believe that there is an additional person, and that was their task and they failed.”

Woman crashes into man; makes hair appointment

January 16, 2009 by  
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BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Police say an elderly woman in Palm Beach County crashed into a man on a scooter and then kept driving to make her hair appointment.

Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater says 77-year-old Louise Davidson of Boynton Beach was arrested Thursday for leaving the scene of an injury crash. The man suffered abrasions all over his body. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

Police say Slater was turning right when she pulled into the path of an oncoming scooter that had the right of way. The scooter collided with her silver Toyota, vaulting the man off the scooter, onto the windshield and then onto the roadway.

Police spotted her car after she had her hair appointment.

Family of missing cruise woman believes she jumped

December 29, 2008 by  
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MIAMI (AP) — The family of a missing cruise ship passenger said Monday that they suspect the woman “chose an unfortunate ending to her life” and jumped from a cruise ship balcony into the waters off Mexico’s coast on Christmas night.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Monday for Jennifer Ellis Seitz, a Florida journalist, after combing more than 4,200 square miles off the coast of the popular resort area of Cancun, where the ship had just visited. Mexican authorities said they would continue their search for another 48 hours.

Seitz had “previous emotional issues,” yet there were no outward signs of distress while on the seven-night cruise from Miami, her family said in a statement given to one of her former employers, The News Chief in Winter Haven. Seitz’s mother joined her daughter and son-in-law on the cruise.

“Jennifer was in a very happy and uplifted mood both before and during the cruise,” the Ellis family said in the statement. “She was excited about starting a new job and her future career with a local newspaper. She and her husband had been talking about starting their family. The family suspects that Jennifer chose an unfortunate ending to her life. She was a beautiful and caring person and will be truly missed by all who love her.”

Seitz and her husband, Raymond, were celebrating their one-year anniversary on the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship.

A surveillance camera showed someone falling overboard at 8 p.m. Christmas night, authorities said. About eight hours later, Raymond Seitz reported his wife missing.

FBI spokesman Mike Leverock says agents met the ship at the dock in Miami on Sunday, collected materials and “are still trying to determine if a crime occurred.”

Norwegian Cruise Line said it is “cooperating fully” with the FBI.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the guest during this difficult time,” the company said in a news release.

Raymond Seitz has not been charged with any crime, authorities said Monday.

The couple met in a weight loss support group; both had undergone bariatric surgery. She chronicled her weight loss journey for an Orlando TV station.

She was also a freelance writer, having written articles for The Tampa Tribune, The Ledger in Lakeland, and an online article titled, “Battling the Bulge Onboard,” about how not to gain weight while aboard a ship.

On her Web site, Seitz described herself as an “avid traveler and an amateur chef.” She was previously a reporter for Florida Today, a newspaper in Melbourne.

Raymond Seitz was arrested in April on a charge of domestic violence-battery after being accused of head-butting his wife. The charge was dropped after he entered a pretrial diversion program. Records show that she asked the prosecutor not to pursue the case.

A fellow passenger on the ship, Jim Nestor, told NBC’s Today show that Seitz and her new husband stood out on the ship with “large and raw personalities.”

Many of the passengers saw them as contestants on an on-board game called “The Not-So-Newlywed Game,” modeled after a 1960s TV quiz show. The game was also carried on the ship’s closed-circuit TV channel.

“They stood out a lot more than other people,” Nestor, a retired police officer, told NBC.

Nestor, who appeared on the game show with his own wife, said he ran into Raymond Seitz day after his wife was reported missing.

“I had given him my condolences, and he had a plastic bag filled with quarters, and he said to me that he was going to the casino to see if he could change his luck,” Nestor said.