Miami-Dade County

Police: Fire lit on top of Miami cop’s body; suspect misled searchers

Police believe Tiniko Thompson shot and killed her Miami police officer boyfriend while he was lying on the bedroom floor and then set fire to something on top of his body.

They also think she misled Miami police who were looking for her boyfriend, Carl Patrick, after he failed to show up for work. On the day Patrick died, Thompson answered his cellphone and told Miami police that Patrick had just left her hospital room.

She hung up the phone when someone asked to speak with him.

Thompson’s six-page arrest warrant, obtained Thursday by the Miami Herald, crystallizes why the Miami police public service aide had been the sole focus of Pembroke Pines police since Patrick’s body was discovered in full uniform and bound in a comforter in the bedroom of his Pembroke Pines home on May 9.

The warrant sheds light on notes Thompson said she left for police after her boyfriend’s death. One of the letters, which the warrant says was only partially legible, was found inside Patrick’s BMW, which Thompson used for two days after his death.

“We had a fight. We struggle with gun. So please know that I was scared to call the police. Oh he left all his money to Andrea …” the note read, according to the warrant. It doesn’t explain who Andrea is.

Police also found another note on the kitchen table that said: “It was an accident. We had a fight.”

Thompson, a 46-year-old public service aide who has been with Miami police for nine years, was arrested Wednesday night a block from her mother’s Opa-locka home. She was escorted to Pembroke Pines police headquarters and booked into Broward County Jail just before 3 a.m. Charged with second-degree murder, she was ordered held without bond.

Pembroke Pines police found Patrick’s body the afternoon of May 9 after receiving emergency calls from the mothers of both Thompson and Patrick. Lucille Patrick, 86, was worried because her son always answers his phone when she calls.

Thompson’s mom, Anne Braddy, had a much more immediate reason for contacting police, the arrest warrant shows: Her daughter was threatening suicide.

But when police showed up at the Pines home that she shared with Patrick in the 2100 block of Northwest 93rd Avenue, she wasn’t there. They found Patrick’s body, but by the time police found Thompson later that afternoon at her mother’s Opa-locka home, she wasn’t talking.

The next week, she went public, her attorney Rod Vareen at her side. The two explained how Patrick actually died on May 7 — two days before his body was found by police. She said her boyfriend died after accidentally shooting himself as the two struggled for a revolver he kept on a nightstand next to the bed.

Thompson said she spent the next two days driving around in Patrick’s BMW and sleeping under a bridge.

The warrant, however, contradicts Patrick having shot himself and says the bullet wound was not “incapacitating.”

“The Medical Examiner also advised that the victim was shot in the right inner biceps area. The bullet traveled through the arm, exiting the back of the arm in the shoulder area. The injury would have been survivable had medical assistance been obtained,” the warrant explained.

But Patrick couldn’t call for assistance, police believe, because he apparently didn’t have his phone. His DNA was found in a blood sample taken from his Samsung cellphone that police believe Thompson put in his car. And the warrant calls the cellphone “his sole means of calling for medical assistance.”

An autopsy done by the Broward County medical examiner found that Patrick died from a single gunshot wound to his upper extremities, his body on his back in a confined space that “would not have been consistent with him shooting himself while holding the gun in his right hand.”

Several calls to Thompson’s attorney Vareen went unanswered Thursday.

The warrant also offers intrigue. It mentions, for the first time publicly, that a fire was lit on top of Thompson’s body, after it had been wrapped in bedsheets and was on the floor.

“There were burn marks found on the bedding that covered him that were consistent with something being lit on fire and then placed on top of the body,” the warrant reads.

Pines police Capt. Al Xiques wouldn’t speculate on how or why the fire was set and didn’t offer any clues as to what detectives believe. When asked, however, Xiques said he was fairly certain Patrick didn’t light a match or spark a lighter to try and create a fire before his death.

“No, I don’t believe he tried to set himself on fire,” Xiques said.

Miami police, who tried to reach Patrick by cellphone several times after he missed work, said they had no reason believe foul play was involved because they thought Thompson was away from work dealing with a pregnancy. She had been on extended leave since October.