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Crime & Courts

Detectives: North Tampa double homicide not a random act

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Published:   |   Updated: February 7, 2014 at 10:27 AM

TAMPA — Eric Albert Salabirria might have known something bad was about to happen.

The 28-year-old apparently text-messaged a neighbor to come to his home at 10013 N. 24th St. in north Tampa late Wednesday; that neighbor arrived to find the bodies of Salabirria and his live-in girlfriend, Chelsea Lynn Sizemore, shot dead.

The neighbor also fetched Sizemore’s 2-year-old daughter, found unhurt in the home, and notified police, who responded about 11:30 p.m.

Sizemore is the daughter of Dave “Flash” Morgan, radio personality for WRBQ, “Q-105” FM.

A homicide investigation is under way. Tampa police released few details of the crime, saying only that both victims had “upper body trauma.”

The department said there were no signs of forced entry into the home, and today detectives said this does not appear to be a random act of violence and that the suspect and victims likely knew each other.

Police tape hung from a breezeway of the home this afternoon, but the neighborhood of single-family homes just blocks from Busch Gardens was quiet.

Neither Salabirria nor Sizemore had criminal records in Florida.

According to his Facebook page, Salabirria attended Wharton High School and was self-employed. Sizemore, who went by the nickname “Chummy,” posted that she attended King High School and was employed with a local dry cleaner.

On his Facebook page early today, Morgan thanked listeners for their support.

“It is with the saddest heart that I have to report that my youngest daughter Chelsea was killed last night in what appears to be a home invasion,” Morgan posted. “I am living a parent’s worst nightmare as I type this message out.

“I will probably be out of touch for a bit as I try to get my head around this. I have endured a lot of things in my life, but this is by far the most difficult thing to try to understand. My child has been taken from me, and I am broken. I pray for her soul and for strength to pull me and my family thru the dark hours ahead.”

Morgan’s radio co-host, Howie Taylor, has established a memorial fund for the family here.

Taylor described Sizemore as “just a sweet, sweet young lady.” He said Salabirria and Sizemore had an “on-again, off-again” relationship.

“She was just a happy-go-lucky 21-year-old,” Taylor said.

Taylor said Sizemore’s daughter was being cared for by her grandfather.

Elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area, authorities are investigating two additional double-murders occurring within the last two weeks that have that have not yet been solved. St. Petersburg police say Paula Witthaus, 64, and James Edward Rapp, 67, died from brutal trauma in the home they shared in that city. Police believe Witthaus served as Rapp’s caregiver. Their bodies were found Jan. 28.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the deaths of two 24-year-old roommates in Hudson. Authorities found the bodies Monday after a fire at the home, but concluded that Jessica Keith and Amber Lynn Jordan were victims of “homicidal violence.”

jstockfisch@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7834

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