Florida

Her dog was taken before a cop tried to kill her, police say. They’re together again

Frankie Bybee in a picture with the victim’s dog.
Frankie Bybee in a picture with the victim’s dog.

The scary saga of J.J. the Yorkshire Terrier has a happy ending.

J.J. is at the center of a bizarre case of a Florida deputy accused of trying to kill an elderly woman after “rehoming” her dog on Craiglist.

The deputy was arrested — but the dog was missing.

Now, some good news in the case: The dog has been found, according to the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office.

READ MORE: Deputy tried to kill elderly woman and put dog on Craigslist, cops say

“Victim’s dog has been located & in good health,” the department reported on Twitter. “We are happy to report J.J. has been reunited with her owner.”

After Sarasota Deputy Frankie Bybee befriended the 79-year-old woman after going to her house for a service call, Bybee was entrusted with taking care of J.J. while the victim was in the hospital. According to the sheriff’s office, Bybee was given a check for over $1,000 to cover any expenses for the dog.

But Bybee cashed the check and “rehomed” the dog on Craigslist.

The sheriff’s office placed Bybee on administrative leave Jan. 9 after his fingerprints were found on four checks made out to Bybee and his children totaling $65,000 from the 79-year-old victim. The victim said she never wrote the checks or signed them.

On Jan. 12, while the victim was sitting in her living room, Bybee broke into her house wearing dark clothes and blue latex gloves, according to the sheriff’s office. The victim said the suspect was “agitated and angry” for being put on administrative leave by the victim’s complaints and he forced prescription drugs down her throat, causing her to pass out. When she woke up, according to the sheriff’s office, her garage door was open and her car was running, letting in carbon monoxide into the home.

Bybee faces charges of larceny, exploitation of the elderly of $50,000 or more, forgery, burglary of an occupied dwelling, battery on a person 65 or older and attempted murder.

The dog was found the day after Bybee was arrested and returned to her owner.

According to records provided to the Bradenton Herald by a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Bybee has been the subject of five previous internal investigations, though only two resulted in disciplinary action. He was reprimanded and suspended for a week after a 2008 internal affairs investigation and then again in 2014 — this time for seven days.

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