Florida Keys

‘Mom and Carlos’: Ghastly children’s sketch depicts murder victims

Assistant State Attorney Erika Isidron questions Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Vince Weiner on the stand of the Plantation Key courthouse Tuesday, July 12, during a special bond hearing for Jeremy Macauley, the suspected shooter in the murders of Tavernier couple Tara Rosado and Carlos Ortiz on Oct. 15, 2015.
Assistant State Attorney Erika Isidron questions Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Vince Weiner on the stand of the Plantation Key courthouse Tuesday, July 12, during a special bond hearing for Jeremy Macauley, the suspected shooter in the murders of Tavernier couple Tara Rosado and Carlos Ortiz on Oct. 15, 2015. For The Reporter

Along with the bodies of Tara Rosado and Carlos Ortiz, homicide detectives found a macabre crayon drawing inside the couple’s Cuba Road home in Tavernier, where they were shot to death the night of Oct. 15, 2015.

The sketch was done by one of Rosado’s children, apparently drawn some time in between the more than 15 hours that passed from when someone gunned down his mother and her boyfriend in their bedroom and when a neighbor found the child and his two younger siblings the next afternoon.

The drawing depicts a person pointing something toward a tombstone. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Vince Weiner said the words “Mom and Carlos” were written on the illustrated grave marker.

“We believe the illustration was composed by the oldest child,” Weiner told Assistant State Attorney Erika Isidron Tuesday during a bond hearing for Jeremy Macauley, the man detectives say pulled the trigger in the murders.

The children — ages 3, 4, and 8 — were alone in the house with the bodies from the time of the slayings — around 10:30 p.m. — until a neighbor found the children in the front yard around 2 p.m. the next day.

“The children had discovered the bodies,” Weiner said.

A grand jury indicted Macauley, 33, in March in the shooting deaths of Ortiz, 30, and Rosado, 26. They were each killed by a single bullet to the head from a Colt .45 caliber pistol. The motive behind the alleged murders, according to police, was to quiet Ortiz, who was threatening Macauley with turning him in to police over a large amount of cocaine Macauley reportedly found offshore while working as a mate aboard the Sea Horse charter fishing boat.

Macauley was partners in Ortiz’s tattoo and smoke shop. According to police, Ortiz demanded more money from Macauley for the business or he was going to tell the cops about the drugs. The drugs, according to detectives, were broken down into smaller portions and sold by Macauley and other associates. The only record left of the cocaine is from cell phone pictures and text conversations prosecutors are using as evidence against Macauley and his alleged partner, Adrian Demblans.

Rick Rodriguez, captain of the Sea Horse, said he had no involvement with any aspect of the crime.

“I had absolutely no knowledge of any of this,” Rodriguez, who has not been charged, said in an email Wednesday.

But Sheriff Rick Ramsay has questioned from the beginning of the investigation how the captain could not know about a large shipment of cocaine stowed on his boat and brought to shore some time during the summer before the murders.

“He’s not been cooperative with us from the beginning, and that has not changed,” Ramsay said Wednesday. “He has done nothing to help us out.”

Rodriguez did not return a subsequent email asking if the drugs were stowed on the Sea Horse and brought back to the dock without his knowledge.

Macauley has been in the county jail with no bond allowed since Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested him on March 28 on the dock of the Whale Harbor Marina as the Sea Horse returned to port.

Prosecutors say Demblans, 34, drove Macauley to and from the Rosado/Ortiz home the night they were shot. Demblans was also arrested March 28 on a charge of accessory after the fact of a capital felony. State Attorney Catherine Vogel combined the men’s cases in April, but Macauley’s attorney, Ed O’Donnell Sr., filed a motion Tuesday to have them tried separately.

“There’s no way these cases are joined at this juncture,” O’Donnell told Circuit Court Judge Luis Garcia in a successful bid to reschedule the trial from this month to November. Garcia has not ruled on the motion to separate the cases, but Demblans’ attorney, Frank Quintero, said he agrees with O’Donnell.

“They had separate informations and separate case numbers,” Quintero said in an email this week. “They had to file a motion to consolidate and then file a new information charging them both. The way they did it is improper and illegal.”

In May, O’Donnell wanted to see transcripts of telephone conversations Demblans made from jail in February after being picked up on cocaine, heroin and concealed weapons charges — charges not related to the murders.

Demblans is also a charter boat captain, and he bought his vessel, the Reel G, from Rodriguez in 2013.

A witness not identified in court papers told police that Demblans was seen scuba diving in either February or March with an underwater metal detector in the Key Largo canal where police divers in November found a Colt .45 handgun. A state crime lab matched shell casings found at the Cuba Road crime scene to that pistol.

Demblans was visibly angry when he emerged from the canal empty-handed, the witness told detectives.

O’Donnell also wants to see testimony presented to the grand jury that he heard is conflicting.

“I need to see that, and I need to see that badly,” O’Donnell said.

Another reason for pushing the trial out further is so O’Donnell can go over telephone text messages detectives say they retrieved from Macauley’s phone that contain conversations with several people who are not named in the case.

“There are many, many other people who aren’t charged,” he said.

The point of Tuesday’s hearing, which was continued to Sept. 13, was for O’Donnell to try to secure a bond for his client. During such hearings, known as Arthur hearings, prosecutors must demonstrate that the evidence they have shows beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant in a serious felony case should be locked up until trial.

During Tuesday’s session, Isidron asked Weiner questions about the crime scene as the court was shown a video of the bodies, bullet holes, blood and the child’s drawing.

Weiner said that were no signs the house was burglarized. There was blood throughout the home, spread by wandering children and the family’s puppy.

“The kids were in the bed, as well as the dog,” Weiner said. “There were paw prints throughout the house.”

Weiner said Ortiz’s left front shorts pocket was pulled out as if someone took something from him.

“We call it dog-eared,” said Weiner.

Detectives theorize Macauley took Ortiz’s Apple iPhone 5 that his sister said he owned and for which a charger cord was found — but no iPhone. Detectives found two phones in the house — Rosado’s Samsung Galaxy and an Asus Zenfone.

The day of the murder, someone inserted the sim card of the Samsung phone into the Asus phone.

“The Asus Zenfone was acting as if it was Tara’s Samsung,” Weiner said.

Weiner testified that Ortiz was communicating with “quite a few people” using the phone that day, “including Jeremy Macauley and Rick Rodriguez.”

Weiner also discussed security camera footage shot from a camera attached to Rosado’s and Ortiz’s next-door neighbor’s house. Weiner did not discuss at length what the camera videoed during the hearing, but in his arrest report from March, he said the footage shows a car driven by Demblans arrive at the Rosado/Ortiz home around 10:30 p.m., Oct. 15. Macauley is seen in the video entering the house and coming out about 20 minutes later, according to the report.

The car begins to leave, but then the driver, Demblans, stops the vehicle, gets out and goes to the front door of the house and stays there for about 20 seconds before getting back into the vehicle and driving away.

“The profile of the passenger matched the same physical description as Jeremy Macauley and the driver’s profile matched the same physical description as Adrian Demblans,” detectives said in their report.