Deaths of mother, son may be murder-suicide

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 2:40 a.m.
An Ocala woman, whose 12-year-old son died in 2000 after being restrained by a youth camp counselor, was found dead along with her 7-year-old son late Tuesday, in what Marion County Sheriff's investigators are now regarding as a murder-suicide.
Linda Ibarra, 36, was found by her 16-year-old son at 1533 NW 42nd Place, lying outside the driver's side door of a black Ford Explorer. Lorenzo Ibarra, 7, was found dead in the passenger seat.
Lorenzo was a first-grader at Evergreen Elementary School.
Capt. Dennis Strow, spokesman for the Marion County Sheriff's Office, said authorities are treating the case as a homicide investigation but an autopsy and further investigation still needs to be conducted.
He said the vehicle was not running when it was discovered. The garage door was closed and the ignition was on, and witnesses told investigators that the mother had mentioned taking her life before they were found after 11 p.m. Tuesday.
"All signs point to carbon-monoxide poisoning and murder-suicide," Strow said.
Ibarra's son, Michael Wiltsie, died on Feb. 5, 2000, after being restrained by a counselor at Camp E-Kel-Etu, a wilderness camp for troubled youth. Neighbors said she still seemed to be grieving.
Next-door neighbor Jesse Heckman said Ibarra often talked about how the ghost of her son still helped her around the house.
"It seems she had never gotten over him," Heckman said.
On top of the roof, right above the garage, were the words "Mikey," written in Christmas lights. Maj. Chris Blair said the mother's teenage son, Brian Wiltsie, lives with friends and came home Tuesday night after trying several times to reach his mother by phone.
He found the bodies in the garage and called the sheriff's office.
Investigators arrived at the brown and tan colored wooden home about 11:35 p.m. and sifted through the scene well into the morning, looking for evidence as a kitten played in the garage. Brian Wiltsie, dressed in a white knit Timberland cap, stood by with friends.
Evergreen Elementary's principal personally informed staff members of Lorenzo's death and grief counselors were available for students there Wednesday and today, said Kevin Christian, a Marion County School District spokesman. Brian Wiltsie does not attend public school in Marion County.
Christian said the elementary school plans to put up some kind of tribute to Lorenzo on the school's marquee.
"He seemed like a good kid," said Heckman, who added his child sometimes played with Lorenzo.
Some neighbors gathered around near the home Tuesday about 7 a.m. after waking up to the news of the death. Theresa Shannon and Nancy Parris, who live several yards from the home, kissed each other on the cheek as they met to comfort each other.
They said they knew little of the woman but Parris added, "She was a lovely lady."
Law enforcement gave the kitten to Shannon to keep.
Parris said the Explorer was always parked in the driveway and she thought it was strange that she hadn't seen it in a couple of days.
"It was never in the garage," Parris said.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top