Florida woman found murdered day after calling 911 for help

8 On Your Side

Victim's mother wants answers after murder-suicide

OLDSMAR, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida woman was found murdered a day after she called 911 for help. The victim’s mother is turning to 8 On Your Side for answers in this apparent murder-suicide in Oldsmar.

The two bodies were discovered June 4th inside a condominium on the 100 block of Pine Court.

“Was she alive before?” said Lenore Lawrow, the victim’s mother. “Could she have been saved?”

Lawrow has asked 8 On Your Side to not disclose her daughter’s identity.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrow’s daughter was shot and killed by her new boyfriend Dr. Benjamin First.

8 On Your Side Investigates obtained copies of the autopsy report for Dr. First and his victim.

Deputies believe the couple was in the process of breaking up. Investigators found the doctor’s clothes packed near the front door.

According to the report, there was a 911 hang-up call from the victim’s phone shortly before 11 p.m. on June 3rd.

This is approximately 24 hours before the bodies would be discovered.

The 911 call has not been released as this is still an open investigation.

While the content of the call is unclear; records show this was categorized as a medium priority call. Two Pinellas County deputies immediately responded to the scene.

According to the department, the deputies spent more than an hour on scene trying to make contact.

The called the victim’s phone. They knocked on the door. They watched the windows. Deputies say when they had no response and saw nothing suspicious, they left.

The department says the response was appropriate.

“Your worst fear is that she was alive and they didn’t get to her?” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi. “Could have been alive, yes,” said Lawrow.

“Did you or anyone in your family hear from her after she made that 911 call?” asked Saeidi.

“No…nothing,” replied Lawrow.

Fearing the worst, Lawrow and family members called deputies to the scene June 4th.

Deputies broke down the door to do a welfare check. They found the two bodies inside.

“I would never call 911 unless my life was in danger,” said Lawrow.

Lawrow says she would have wanted deputies to break down the door the day her daughter called 911.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says the facts and the law did not allow them to force their way into a private residence after the initial 911 call.

Based on the facts before us, legal experts tell 8 On Your Side it appears the department acted appropriately.

Still, the content of the 911 call is critical.

8 On Your Side has requested all the evidence in this case, including the 911 call.

Deputies will release everything once the toxicology has been completed and the case is no longer active.

Lawrow believes domestic violence calls need to be handled differently.

Intensely private, she says she’s only speaking out to try and save another woman in a similar situation.

“The whole tragedy horrific situation is done,” she said. “But if you can help another human being, that makes me want to cry, that’s what we’re here for.”

8 On Your Side will continue to follow this story.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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