Suspect charged in double murder at Winter Haven motel

Suspect charged in double murder at Winter Haven motel

Winter Haven police have arrested a man accused of killing two people in a motel room there in October.

Police went to The Rose Motel on the afternoon of Wednesday October 14 to check on 40-year-old Timothy Anderson.

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Anderson’s mother called the police after she hadn’t heard from him in several days, as he normally called her daily.

With the help of a motel staff member, officers entered Anderson’s room to find him and 49-year-old Leslee Umpleby dead with “significant trauma” to their bodies.

A witness told police they saw someone in a hoodie go towards the room late the previous night and heard a commotion, but didn’t report it.

Days later, they identified Beloni Petitfrere, 38, as a person of interest in the case.

Winter Haven police announced Friday they were charging Petitfrere with murder after DNA evidence placed him at the scene.

Police say they also interviewed people acquainted with Petitfrere who spoke with him in the days before and after the murders, and were able to provide additional details linking him to the crime.

“Our detectives worked day and night following this horrific crime, investigating every lead possible,” Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird said.

Petitfrere has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, armed burglary, and tampering with evidence.

He was already being held in the Polk County jail on unrelated charges.