Frankie Eugene Bybee, a veteran Florida sheriff's deputy with 18 years of service at the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, has been arrested on Monday. He faces a number of criminal charges including forgery and attempted murder.
The deputy befriended a 79-year-old woman, who would later allegedly become his victim, in late October, after he responded to her home on a service call.
The sheriffs office released a statement that read,
Bybee began making regular visits to the victim's home while on- and off-duty and also introduced the victim to several members of his family.
On January 12, Bybee allegedly force-fed pills and left his victim unconscious, with her car running in the garage, staging the crime as a suicide.
Bybee's plan allegedly included forging checks in the woman's name.
The 46-year-old had been investigated five times since he joined the sheriff's office and was also suspended multiple times.
The victim told police on December 20 Bybee was harassing her. Just a few weeks later, Bybee allegedly committed the crime.
On January 9, four personal checks of the victim's were allegedly made out to Bybee and his three children totaling $65,000. After the victim told police she didn't write the checks, they checked for fingerprints.
The prints matched Bybee, and he was suspended without pay.
Bybee was also trusted with the victim's dog before the harassment began. He was given $1,000 in case the dog had any medical needs while she was away.
Instead, Bybee took the money and deposited it into his personal bank account. He then used Craigslist to give the dog away.
The sheriff's office said,
The victim told detectives that Bybee only had permission to watch the dog while she was away and was not entitled to keep or sell it.
The dog has since been returned to the victim.
Three days after Bybee wrote the fraudulent checks, he entered the woman's home in dark clothing and latex gloves.
According to the sheriff's office, the victim said Bybee forced "prescription medication in her mouth, causing lacerations and abrasions to her face and bruising to her body."
When she woke up after passing out from the pills, she called 911.
When investigators arrived, they determined her house was filled with carbon monoxide after Bybee left her car running and left an internal door to her garage open.
Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight said at a news conference,
To use that uniform to be sent to her home to provide her help and then exploit it is unacceptable.
Bybee is being held on $1 million bond, but people are questioning why he still maintained a job at the sheriff's office at all.
He is currently being charged with attempted murder, battery, burglary, exploitation of the elderly, grand theft, forgery and petit theft.