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Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

St. Pete police investigating double homicide

Published:   |   Updated: January 29, 2014 at 01:34 PM

St. Petersburg police detectives continue to investigate the deaths of two people found dead in their home Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators identified the victims as Paula Witthaus, 64, and James Edward Rapp, 67, who both lived at 2849 17th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, police said. They believe that Witthaus was a caregiver for Rapp who suffered from various ailments.

Investigators say they died from brutal trauma.

On Tuesday afternoon, a friend went to their home to check on their well being and found the bodies, police said. Witthaus and Rapp were both attacked in their home and died at the scene within 48 hours of their bodies being found.

The motive is unclear and there are no suspects at this time, police said.

“We don’t see any indication that this was random,” said Mike Puetz, a police department spokesman.

Forensic experts continue to process the crime scene, police said.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Detective Rodney Tower at the police nonemergency number , (727) 893-7780, text their tip to (727) 420-8911 or leave a confidential tip at (727) 892-5000.