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Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Sean Petrozzino Double Murder-Suicide Case

     In August 2012, the bank foreclosed on 28-year-old Sean Petrozinno's house in eastern Orange County, Florida. He and his wife owed $200,000 on the home they had purchased in 2006. Several months after they stopped paying the $1,300 a month mortgage installments, the couple moved to Georgia.

     Sean Petrozzino grew up in Orlando, Florida. When he was 15 he contracted bacterial meningitis, a disease that destroyed his hands and feet. After a dozen operations, the quadruple amputee was fitted with prosthetic legs, arms, and hands.

     In 2000, a reporter with the South Florida Sun Sentinel wrote a feature article about the stricken 16-year-old in which Petrozzino was described as "perky, polite and philosophical beyond his age." Regarding his disability, the teen said, "I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. As much as I feel bad about what happened, I feel good that my family and all my friends stood by me."

     In October 2014, Sean Petrozzino and his wife returned to Orlando. The couple and their Great Dane moved in with his parents who resided in the Andover Cay subdivision. His 63-year-old father, Michael Petrozzino, worked for Disney World. Nancy Petrozzino, his 64-year-old mother, had been an elementary school teacher for forty years. In 2007, she began teaching second grade at Andover Lakes Elementary School less than a mile from her home.

     At eleven in the morning of Tuesday November 4, 2014, deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the Petrozzino house to check on Nancy who hadn't shown up for work that morning and couldn't be reached by phone.

     Inside the dwelling the officers found the dead bodies of Michael and Nancy Petrozzino. The couple had been shot to death. Nothing had been stolen and the house had not been forcibly entered.

     Sean Petrozzino, seen that morning driving his father's 2012 red Toyota Camry, became an instant suspect in the double murder. (According to a prosthetics expert, a person without hands can fire a handgun.)

     On the Monday following the double killing, the sheriff's office published a surveillance image of the suspect at a Wells Fargo ATM in Orlando. Detectives believed that the son of the murdered couple may have traveled to Jupiter or Coral Springs, Florida.

     Late Monday night November 10, 2014, six days following the murders, police officers in Memphis, Tennessee stopped a driver of a 2012 red Toyota Camry who made an illegal u-turn. As the patrol officers approached the car they heard a faint pop-like sound from inside the Toyota. The driver, Sean Petrozzino, had killed himself with a bullet to the head.

     This murder suspect's suicide was a sudden end to a violent, tragic crime. 

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