Deaths appear to be murder/suicide
Detectives say they have confirmed the identities of two people found dead in a car on Big Pine Key Monday. They say the circumstances of the deaths appear to be a murder-suicide.
The bodies of 49 year old Jim Ovecka and 54 year old Michelle Chapman were discovered by an employee of the Mosquito Control District at 8:15 a.m. Monday. They were inside of a 2004 Honda Element, parked in a wooded area past the end of 5th Avenue on Big Pine Key. The car was running. A hose was taped to the tailpipe and run into a back window of the car.
It appears from initial investigations that Ovecka used a handgun to first shoot Chapman in the head, then shoot himself.
Ovecka and Chapman were identified from Arizona driverís licenses found in the car, and by fingerprints which were compared to a set of fingerprints from Corpus Christi, Texas. The couple were past owners of a restaurant in that town and were arrested for stealing a large amount of money from credit cards belonging to customers. According to news reports from Texas, the two were given 10 years probation recently for stealing $200,000 and were required by the courts to pay back a large portion of the stolen money.
The vehicle was parked at the end of Fifth Avenue in a wooded area on Big Pine Key. Sheriffís dispatchers received a report there were two people inside the car who appeared to be unconscious. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found the car running.