HOLIDAY, Fla. -- A West Virginia native was found dead in her Florida home Friday, raped and brutally murdered by her former boyfriend, police said.
After receiving a tip from another law enforcement agency, sheriff's deputies entered the home of Sarah Ann Capps, 22, just after 1:30 p.m. Friday, Pasco County Sheriff's Office spokesman Doug Tobin said Sunday. They found Capps' body inside, he said.
"We're describing this as a brutal murder," Tobin said.
Later, using tools from the U.S. Marshal's Service and after interviewing neighbors, they found Capps' former boyfriend across the street, Tobin said. After questioning the man, they arrested Thomas Cacacie, 26, and charged him with first degree murder and sexual battery, Tobin said.
"My understanding is he made some sort of confession," he said. "He was at the scene of the crime and made some confession. We charged him based on the confession and evidence we collected at the scene."
Police believe Capps once had a relationship with Cacacie, a native of El Salvador, and had at least one child together, but had split up, Tobin said. Asked about their relationship, he said, "Estranged. I don't know if they were married.
"We believe Thomas was in New York and returned to Pasco County on Wednesday. He was a transient, with no permanent address." Pasco County is on the Gulf Coast of Florida, just north of Tampa Bay.
Both Capps and Cacacie were known to county authorities, Tobin said. Sheriff's Office records show Capps was on probation for two burglary arrests within a week in November 2008. She was born in Charleston, the report shows.
As for Cacacie, "We have incidents where we've been notified about him -- domestic or Baker Act calls," Tobin said. The Baker Act is a Florida law under which someone can be referred for an involuntary mental health exam if he poses a threat to himself or others.
As of Sunday, police had not released details of the incident, such as the cause of death or location of Capps' body. "We're waiting for the medical examiner's report on how she died," Tobin said. "It wasn't immediately obvious." He would not say whether a gun was involved.
"There is at least one child in state custody," he said. "There weren't any children at the home at the time.
"It's unfortunate a former West Virginia resident was murdered in our area," Tobin said.
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.