HomeCommunity NewsBradenton BeachPossible murder-suicide under investigation

Possible murder-suicide under investigation

BRADENTON BEACH – A concerned father found his daughter and her roommate dead in their home on Saturday afternoon in what police say could be a case of murder-suicide.

Bradenton Beach Police responded to a call yesterday around 2:40 p.m. at 2514 Avenue C to find the bodies of Sabrina Marie Dumdei, 37, and Zachary John Winton, 34, in what they described as a “gruesome crime scene.”

Possible murder-suicide remains under investigation
Members of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit investigated the evidence that included a bloody deck chair. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

“We’re working a suspicious death investigation. A possible murder-suicide is what it appears to be at this time, but the investigation will be going on for quite a while,” Det. Sgt. Lenard Diaz, of the Bradenton Beach Police Department, said this morning.

“I will kill her. She gonna pay. If I get charged with felonies, I’ll kill her then myself. I will cut her throat.” – Zachary Winton

“This is probably the most gruesome crime scene I’ve ever worked – the worst in 37 years that I’ve ever seen,” said Diaz, who is leading the investigation. “It’s going to be really hard to put together what occurred, what the chronological events were that led up to the actual deaths. Going through the crime scene and photos, I’ll try to put something together, but it’s going to be speculation because there’s no witnesses and nobody saw anything.”

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit and the District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office are also participating in the ongoing investigation. Diaz said he would attend the autopsies on Monday and may be able to provide additional details afterward.

There are no signs of an additional person or persons being involved in the deaths, he said.

“We arrested him in September for domestic violence,” Diaz said, referring to an Aug. 31/Sept. 1 incident at the Bradenton Beach triplex involving Winton and Dumdei.

“I’m still trying to get ahold of the people who just bought the house so we can make arrangements for the families to go in and grab their stuff,” he said.

The couple who sold the triplex and reportedly closed on that sale on Friday arrived at the crime scene late Saturday afternoon and spoke with officers.

Investigation unfolds

Diaz, Police Chief Sam Speciale and officers Steve Masi and Devon Straight were among those who responded to the crime scene Saturday afternoon.

Possible murder-suicide remains under investigation
Sabrina Dumdei and Zach Winton were found dead inside this Bradenton Beach triplex on Saturday. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

“We’ve got what appears to be a murder-suicide. We have two victims, a male and a female,” Speciale said, adding that the deceased individuals lived in one of the units and there were no known occupants of the other two units at the time.

“The father tried to get in contact with his daughter and was unable to. He came to the house and noticed that she was on the floor. He broke a door window to gain entry and found her on the floor,” Speciale said.

From outside the triplex, a blood-stained plastic deck chair could be seen on the balcony deck and bloodstains were visible on the sliding glass door.

“Crime scene investigators are here now. They’re going through all the evidence. They’re documenting everything. The medical examiner will then move the deceased so we can get a better idea of what type of wounds and where they’re at,” Speciale said.

When asked if the wounds appeared to be from a gun, knife or some other weapon, Speciale said, “We have no idea. All I can tell you is there’s a lot of blood. We’re waiting to find out exactly where the wounds are and what they consist of. We do know their identities and we’ll go from there,” Speciale said.

“We’ve had domestic incidents at this location,” he added.

Possible murder-suicide remains under investigation
Sabrina Dumdei, right, will be missed greatly by her sisters Crystal Lynn and Jennifer. – Facebook | Submitted

Speciale said they could not release the names of the deceased on Saturday because Diaz was still trying to contact a family member of the deceased man. Speciale said he knew the female victim and she had been working at a nearby Bradenton Beach hair salon prior to her death.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., Diaz said, “We really don’t know what happened. It’s a rough scene in there right now, so it’s going to be awhile. It’s an ongoing death investigation.”

Upon their arrival, members of the Medical Examiner’s Office removed the two bodies from the second story living area shortly after 10 p.m. After the medical examiner’s van departed, Diaz said he was unable to provide any additional details because he was still trying to contact a family member.

Recent domestic altercations

Several neighbors told The Sun they heard nothing that indicated a violent altercation on Friday or Saturday, but some noted the couple could often be heard arguing, sometimes loudly.

Manatee County court records indicate a history of recent physical confrontations between Winton and Dumdei.

On July 19, Dumdei was arrested on suspicion of alleged domestic battery stemming from an incident that occurred in Bradenton.

According to the probable cause affidavit prepared by the arresting Bradenton Police Department officer, “I responded to 11045-808 Bristol Bay Dr. in reference to domestic trouble. I met with Ms. Sabrina Dumdei and Mr. Zachary Winton, who have been dating for approximately four months and have lived together at this location for approximately three months. Mr. Winton reported that they were arguing while sitting on the porch when Ms. Dumdei threw a can at him. He was struck on the lip and he suffered a small laceration, as well as some swelling.

“Mr. Winton stated that he and Ms. Dumdei were then standing on the porch when she began punching him several times in the chest with a closed fist. Mr. Winton did not wish to press charges. Ms. Dumdei was placed under arrest for domestic battery and transported to the Manatee County jail,” according to the affidavit.

Court records indicate that on July 23, the charges against Dumdei were dropped by Assistant State Attorney Victoria Gray and no further action was taken.

According to court records, Winton was arrested at the same Bradenton address by the Bradenton Police Department on charges of domestic battery on Aug. 10.

According to the probable cause affidavit, “On 8/8/20, at approximately 2303 hours (11:03 p.m.), officers responded to the victim’s residence in reference to a battery. On 8/7/20, while inside the victim’s residence, the defendant and victim became involved in a verbal altercation. During the course of the argument, the defendant struck the victim on the right eye with a closed fist in a backhanded motion.

“The officers responded to the residence on the listed date and could hear a disturbance. Officers attempted to make contact at the residence but were unsuccessful. As of result of this incident, the victim sustained broken blood vessels to the right eye, as well as a large bruise which extends from the eyebrow to the bridge of the nose and also covers the right cheek. The defendant in this case also sustained a large bruise to the left eye. The victim stated the defendant struck himself in the face after striking the victim as the victim threatened to notify law enforcement,” according to the affidavit.

“The defendant stated that at no point did he strike the victim. The victim made no Marsy’s Law request and did not wish to press charges. However, the victim wished to have an injunction filed on her behalf,” the affidavit notes.

Winton entered a not guilty plea on Aug. 12 and the charges were dropped by the state attorney’s office on Aug. 24.

Death threat made

According to court records, on Aug. 31, Winton was arrested by the Bradenton Beach Police Department on suspected charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, tampering with a witness, false imprisonment and domestic battery.

Possible murder-suicide remains under investigation
Zach Winton was one of the deceased persons discovered at the Avenue C triplex on Saturday. – Facebook | Submitted

The victim’s name and the address where the incident occurred are redacted in the probable cause affidavit prepared by arresting officer Steve Masi. But on Sunday, Diaz confirmed Dumdei was the victim in that incident that occurred at the Avenue C address.

According to the probable cause affidavit, “Defendant and victim had been arguing for the last two days, but today victim said it got worse. Victim stated Winton refused to let her leave the house or his sight by threats of violence. She felt confined. Defendant then grabbed her by the face and held a razor knife to her neck and said, ‘Leave and see what happens.’ Victim had a well-founded fear that Winton had the ability to carry out such a threat and that it would take place.

“Victim stated defendant would not allow her to use the phone, but only to call his sister, as he hindered or delayed her from making any other calls. Victim finally got away and made the call to 911 dispatch but had to hang up in the middle of the call, as defendant had found her and once again put her in fear of violence. Upon my arrival, defendant was yelling and walking at victim with a large kitchen knife I observed in his right back pocket. Defendant was then issued verbal commands at taser point to back away from the victim. He then complied and was detained. “While detained in the police department, Winton made numerous threatening remarks about what he was going to do to victim when he gets out, such as ‘I will kill her. She gonna pay. If I get charged with felonies, I’ll kill her then myself. I will cut her throat,’ ” according to the affidavit.

Winton was charged with three felonies in the incident – domestic aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and tampering with a witness – and misdemeanor battery, according to court records.

On Sept. 9, Winton’s attorney, Jacob Grollman, filed a motion for consensual contact with the victim (Dumdei). That document states Winton had no previous felony charges and no history of physical violence.

On Sept. 15, an order was filed granting the motion to lift the no contact order and the status of the pending case remained open as of Saturday.

On Oct. 21, 2018, Dumdei was arrested by the Holmes Beach Police Department on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to the probable cause affidavit, Dumdei was also in possession of 21 clonazepam pills contained in a generic white bottle with no attached prescription information. On May 20, 2019, Dumdei pled no contest and was placed on probation for 12 months.

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