TWO LAKE WORTH MEN ARRESTED FOR DOUBLE MURDER OF ELDERLY COUPLE
Posted At: 11/08/2013 04:35 PM
- BSO Case Number: DR13-10-00620
- PIO Number: 13-11-3c
- Date: 11/4/2013
- Time: 6:42 p.m.
- Place of Occurrence: 2440 Deer Creek Country Club Blvd., Apt. 210, Deerfield Beach
- Jurisdiction: Deerfield Beach
- Barbara Russo, female, age 78, 2440 Deer Creek Country Club Blvd., Apt 210-C, Deerfield Beach (DECEASED)
- Philip Russo, male, age 88, 2440 Deer Creek Country Club Blvd., Apt 210-C, Deerfield Beach (DECEASED)
- Rosario Melici, male, 60, 5/3/53, 711 N. E St., Lake Worth (IN CUSTODY)
- Michael Marotta, male, 38, 5/30/75, 711 N. E St., Lake Worth (IN CUSTODY)
Description of Incident:
An out-of-work painter who robbed and killed an elderly Deerfield Beach couple left a trail of clues at the crime scene, including his own DNA on blue painter’s tape he used to restrain Barbara and Phillip Russo. It didn’t take long for Broward Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives to track down Rosario Melici, who was once married to the niece of Phillip Russo, at his home in Lake Worth. Melici then implicated his tenant, 38-year-old Michael Marotta, in the stabbing deaths.
Detectives found a box Thursday night that Melici and Marotta had buried in the back yard of the Lake Worth home where they lived containing the Russo’s jewelry. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office dive team also recovered the murder weapon – a knife – from a canal near John Prince Park in Lake Worth.
Barbara Russo’s daughter, Patricia Williams, told detectives her mother had said that Melici had visited their condo a few days before unannounced and had offered to paint it free of charge. It seemed strange to Williams because the Russos hadn’t been in touch with Melici, who has an extensive criminal past. Detectives first talked to Melici on Monday, just a few hours after Williams reported the crime scene.
Melici and Marotta were booked into BSO’s Main Jail early Friday morning. Both were charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
- INVESTIGATORS: Det. Curcio, Sgt. Champagne, Homicide, Crime Scene; Deerfield Beach
- THIS REPORT BY: Dani Moschella/PIO 11/8/13 1630
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