Detectives arrested two men in connection with last fall's double homicide in Tavernier that took the lives of a young couple while the mother’s three children slept in a nearby room.
Jeremy Ward Macauley, 33, of Tavernier, was arrested Monday on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery. He worked as a mate on the Sea Horse charter boat out of Whale Harbor in Islamorada.
“I really don’t want to talk about this right now,” his boss, Capt. Rick Rodriguez, said Tuesday.
A second man, Adrian Demblans, of Key Largo, was arrested Monday on charges of being an accessory after the fact of a capital felony and dealing in stolen property.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office communications officer Deputy Becky Herrin said Demblans’ accessory charge is in connection with the killings. Demblans, 34, has a record of prior drug arrests.
For former neighbors of Tara Rosado, 26, and Carlos Ortiz, 30, the arrest brings some relief.
“It’s very sad,” said one neighbor, who did not want to be identified. “I just hope everything cleans up.”
Rosado’s sister, Katelyn Farley, said her family is still in shock over Tara’s murder, but the arrests offer a form of closure.
“We feel relieved these people can’t do this to anyone else,” Farley said from New York on Tuesday.
Rosado and Ortiz were each shot once in the head while they were in the bedroom of their Cuba Road home around 10 p.m. Oct. 15. The children, ages 3, 4, and 8, were sleeping in the other room of the house.
Neighbor Travis Kvadus discovered the two bodies at 2 p.m. Oct. 16 after Rosado’s children, who were in the front yard of the house, told him their mother and Ortiz were dead.
Monroe County sheriff’s detectives said that Rosado and Ortiz appeared to have been targeted.
Rosado began dating Ortiz about five months before the murders, according to her friends.
The former Tara O’Brien and her ex-husband, Juan Rosado, moved to Tavernier from Allentown, Pennsylvania, with their children about two years ago. She grew up in Staten Island, New York.
Tara filed for divorce in late October 2014, according to court records. Some time that year, the family was referred to investigators with the Florida Department of Children and Families, agency spokeswoman Ana Valdes said.
Ortiz had a substantial criminal record in Miami-Dade County on charges that included marijuana trafficking and armed robbery. He was arrested in March 2015 on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.
According to Ortiz’s Facebook page, he was about to open the doors to his tattoo and smoke shop “Ink-Your Dreamzzz” in Key Largo before he was killed.
MaCauley has an extensive arrest record in Monroe County on charges including driving under the influence, felony battery on a law enforcement officer or firefighter — which the state did not prosecute — and drug possession without a prescription. His most recent arrest was in December 2013 on a charge of driving with a suspended license.
Herrin, the Keys sheriff’s spokeswoman, said that Detective Vince Weiner discovered that in the summer of 2015, Macauley became a financial partner in Ortiz’s tattoo shop. Also that summer, Macauley came into possession of “a large amount of cocaine” while fishing offshore the Upper Keys and distributed the drugs to Ortiz and Demblans, Herrin said.
Ortiz and Macauley also had a disagreement over the tattoo shop, and Ortiz subsequently attempted to extort money from Macauley by threatening to expose his drug activities to the police.
Weiner said Demblans drove Macauley to the Cuba Road home on Oct. 15. Macauley went inside while Demblans remained at the wheel. After a few minutes, Macauley came out of the house, and the two men drove off.
Detectives say they have video acquired from surveillance cameras in the neighborhood showing Macauley and Demblans arriving at the Cuba Road house the night of the murders.
The gun used to kill Rosado and Ortiz was found in the water near Ocean Bay Drive Bridge, Herrin said. A witness told police the gun belongs to Macauley. Ortiz’s cellphone was also recovered from the water in the same area, Herrin said. The phone contained texts and videos that revealed Ortiz’s attempts to extort Macauley, Herrin said.
Both Macauley and Demblans are in Key West jail. Macauley is being held on no bond. Demblans is being held on a total bond of $265,000.