Son, daughter of Tampa murder victims speak a year later - WFLA News Channel 8

Son, daughter of Tampa murder victims speak a year later

Posted: Updated:
Tiana Vause and Ben Kowalewski Tiana Vause and Ben Kowalewski
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The children of two sisters killed in their home in Tampa a year ago asked for the public's help Friday morning to solve the case.

A friend discovered Linda J. Helms, 62, and Vickie Sterling, 54, dead in different rooms in their home at 808 Lotus Ave on April 12, 2012.

Tiana Vause, daughter of Vickie Sterling, and Ben Kowalewski, son of Linda Helms, offered a reward for any tips that lead to an arrest.

"I have been trying to put pieces of the puzzle together since this happened and I can't," Vause said.

Vause, who is eight months pregnant, said it was difficult to realize that her mother would not be there for the baby.

"Just knowing that I won't have her to be there for me, or my son," Vause said before tearing up.

She told us Sterling was finishing school to work in the medical field, and her older sister Linda Helms was helping her out with that.

"In the last 8 months of her life, she finished her schooling, which she was so happy for and I was so proud of her," Vause said.

Ben Kowalewski told reporters that the sisters were always close friends. He says it's hard for his whole family to live knowing the person who killed them in still out there.

"I can't sleep at night anymore, because I go through scenarios in my head," Kowalewski said.

Tampa Police investigated the case as a double homicide. Major Brian Dugan says detectives believe the sisters willingly let the killer into their home.

"We believe, based on the crime scene, which is their home, where they were living the they knew the person who came and did this," he said.

The sisters lived in their home for many years. Neighbors describe them as kind.

"They are very nice women," neighbor Chastity Delorey said a year ago about the event. "For anything to happen to the two of them in any bad way, I wouldn't expect anything like that. This is a shocker."

Vause and Kowalewski will be distributing flyers with the case information in the Tampa Bay area over the next few days, hoping people who know anything about the case come forward. There is a $1,000 reward being offered for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

Anyone with information about the case can contact Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay online or at 1-800-873-TIPS.

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:41:35 GMT

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.


  • Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:02:51 GMT
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
  • Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:20 GMT
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
  • NewsMore>>

  • At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

    At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:22:02 GMT
    Russia's foreign ministry on Saturday promised it would offer strong assistance to Ukraine to overcome its crisis, but emphasized that the ultimate responsibility for reducing tensions lies with Ukrainians...
    Pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine on Saturday prepared to celebrate Orthodox Easter at barricades outside government offices seized in nearly a dozen cities, despite an international agreement to disarm and free the...
  • Everest avalanche a reminder of risks Sherpas face

    Everest avalanche a reminder of risks Sherpas face

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:16 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:16:19 GMT
    The rescuers moved quickly, just minutes after the first block of ice tore loose from Mount Everest and started an avalanche that roared down the mountain, ripping through teams of guides hauling gear.
    The rescuers moved quickly, just minutes after the first block of ice tore loose from Mount Everest and started an avalanche that roared down the mountain, ripping through teams of guides hauling gear.
  • Manatee veterinarian arrested in Napier Family Farm case

    Manatee veterinarian arrested in Napier Family Farm case

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:13:15 GMT
    Authorities began their investigation in February. Authorities began their investigation in February.
    Authorities in Manatee County have made a third arrest in connection with an on-going animal cruelty investigation at the Napier Family Farm and Rescue on State Road 64 near Bradenton.Dr. Edward E. Dunham, 76, was taken into custody Saturday morning at his home in Palmetto. He was booked into the Manatee County Jail on one count of animal torture with intent. His bond was sent at $1,500.Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts http://8.wfla.com/18DCEqk
    Authorities in Manatee County have made a third arrest in connection with an on-going animal cruelty investigation at the Napier Family Farm and Rescue on State Road 64 near Bradenton.Dr. Edward E. Dunham, 76, was taken into custody Saturday morning at his home in Palmetto. He was booked into the Manatee County Jail on one count of animal torture with intent. His bond was sent at $1,500.Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts http://8.wfla.com/18DCEqk
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.