St. Pete Police seek information in double homicide - WFLA News Channel 8

St. Pete Police seek information in double homicide

Posted: Updated:
Paula Witthaus, 54, and James Edward Rapp, 67, were found inside their home at 2840 17th Ave. N. on Tuesday. Drivers license photos Paula Witthaus, 54, and James Edward Rapp, 67, were found inside their home at 2840 17th Ave. N. on Tuesday. Drivers license photos
The bodies were found inside a residence at 2840 17th Ave. N. The bodies were found inside a residence at 2840 17th Ave. N.
The bodies were found inside a residence at 2840 17th Ave. N. The bodies were found inside a residence at 2840 17th Ave. N.
ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

St. Petersburg Police are seeking information about the murder of an elderly man and his caretaker.

The bodies of Paula Witthaus, 54, and James Edward Rapp, 67, were found inside their home at 2840 17th Ave. N. on Tuesday.

Detectives think the victims were killed within 48-hours of the discovery of their bodies. They say it appears as though Witthaus was acting as Rapp's caretaker due to several medical issues he was suffering from.

Police received a call about the bodies at 12:52 p.m. on Tuesday. A person who performs maintenance work at the residence had stopped by the home two days in a row and no one answered the door. On Tuesday, the caretaker went inside the home to check on them and discovered the bodies, according to police.

Investigators describe the trauma the victims received to the upper body as "particularly brutal", but they have not released their cause of death.

Detectives do not believe Witthaus and Rapp were victims of a random act of violence.

Anyone who believes that they may have information regarding the two victims or possible suspects are asked to call Detective Rodney Tower at the police non-emergency number at 727-893-7780, or they may Text-A-Tip to 727-420-8911 or leave a confidential tip at 727-892-5000.


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:26 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:26:13 GMT
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
  • Citrus Park property prompts code enforcement change

    Citrus Park property prompts code enforcement change

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-08-20 19:55:42 GMT
    Action today by Hillsborough county commissioners following an 8 On Your Side investigation.Commissioners voted unanimously to draw up an ordinance that will bring chronic code offenders before a judge in county court.For months now 8 On Your Side has documented the county's inability to deal with properties that are overgrown and piled with junk and pose possible health risks to neighbors.
    Action today by Hillsborough county commissioners following an 8 On Your Side investigation.Commissioners voted unanimously to draw up an ordinance that will bring chronic code offenders before a judge in county court.For months now 8 On Your Side has documented the county's inability to deal with properties that are overgrown and piled with junk and pose possible health risks to neighbors.
  • Peanut, almond butter recalled for salmonella risk

    Peanut, almond butter recalled for salmonella risk

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:16 AM EDT2014-08-20 08:16:32 GMT
    A unit of Hain Celestial Group Inc. is recalling some peanut and almond butter because of possible salmonella contamination.
    A unit of Hain Celestial Group Inc. is recalling some peanut and almond butter because of possible salmonella contamination.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Lakeland cop killer could learn fate

    Lakeland cop killer could learn fate

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:00:46 GMT
    The man accused of killing a Lakeland police officer could learn his fate Thursday.
    The man accused of killing a Lakeland police officer could learn his fate Thursday.
  • Bomb squad searches vehicle near USF after shooting

    Bomb squad searches vehicle near USF after shooting

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:04 AM EDT2014-08-21 09:04:17 GMT
    Bomb squad searches suspect's vehicle Bomb squad searches suspect's vehicle
    A man is facing charges after Tampa Police reported finding numerous weapons and military gear in his vehicle early Thursday morning.
    A man is facing charges after Tampa Police reported finding numerous weapons and military gear in his vehicle early Thursday morning.
  • Man killed outside Tampa club in early morning shooting

    Man killed outside Tampa club in early morning shooting

    Thursday, August 21 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-08-21 07:59:05 GMT
    Shooting scene at Whiting and Jefferson in downtown TampaShooting scene at Whiting and Jefferson in downtown Tampa
    A man was shot and killed outside Club Underground in downtown Tampa early Thursday morning, Tampa Police say.
    A man was shot and killed outside Club Underground in downtown Tampa early Thursday morning, Tampa Police say.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
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.