Handyman shot, killed Kissimmee couple in possible extortion attempt, deputies say

Video: Only Eyewitness News discovered a 911 call tipped off investigators that a double homicide had happened in Osceola County

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A Kissimmee couple found dead inside their home last week was shot to death by their handyman, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the couple appeared to have been dead for some time before they were found. They said had both been shot in the head, according to deputies, and it appeared the couple had just sat down to eat breakfast.

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There was no forced entry into the home and a server for the couple’s surveillance system had been ripped out of its place, deputies said.

Investigators searched the couple’s cellphone and discovered that the last person Roosevelt Dixon spoke to was Frederico Gondola. Gondola told investigators he worked as a handyman for the couple, had been to the home several times and sometimes worked on their computer.

A big break came in the case when a woman told investigators she had details about the murders.

The woman said Gondola told her and her boyfriend that Gondola said he found child pornography on the computer and tried to use that to extort money from Roosevelt Dixon.

Deputies eventually tracked down the woman's boyfriend, who is a friend of Gondola’s. The friend told them that Gondola had reached out to him to ask for help robbing an elderly couple. The friend told deputies that he told Gondola he didn’t want to take part in the robbery.

The friend told deputies Gondola contacted him again on July 9 and asked to meet him at a 7-Eleven, where he said he had shot the couple and needed help getting rid of their bodies. The friend agreed, but then backed out once he got to the neighborhood.

Cellphone records showed the friend had driven to the home, and surveillance video from the 7-Eleven showed the friend and Gondola meeting up.

When deputies confronted Gondola again, he told them he was planning to extort the couple, who had about $1 million in savings and in life insurance policies.

Gondola told investigators that Roosevelt came after him with a gun and he shot the man and then his wife because she walked in on it.

"They worked their whole lives to live calmly the last years of their lives, so I don't get why someone would want to do this," said a neighbor, who asked to not be identified. "They were good people. They were very friendly."

The neighbor said the couple had been married for 20 years. Investigators said they had recently returned from a trip to New York.

"I don't believe it, because there's no reason for me to actually suspect this of them," the neighbor said of Gondola's claims that he had discovered child pornography on a computer.

Gondola was arrested on first-degree murder charges.