UPDATE: The Calhoun County Sheriffs Office is currently investigating what we believe to be a murder/suicide. On Monday October 7, 2013 two Hispanic migrant workers were located deceased at a watermelon farm off of Whitewater Grade in Clarksville.
The deceased are 32-year-old Crecencio Rangel Manilla of Quincy, Florida and 15-year-old Mirna Domingo-Perez of Marianna, Florida. Both subjects were illegal immigrants who worked in local produce farms. Manilla was from Mexico and Domingo-Perez was from Guatemala.
During the course of the investigation we spoke with friends and family of both Manilla and Domingo-Perez. We learned that Manilla showed interest in Domingo-Perez however, due to the age difference Domingo-Perez did not reciprocate those feelings.
The two had worked together on local farms and knew each other. Sometime during the daytime hours of October 5, 2013 Manilla picked up Domingo-Perez from her Watson Street home in Marianna, Florida. According to witnesses Manilla told Domingo-Perez that his boss was having a party and he needed help setting up tables and chairs. Manilla took Domingo-Perez to a watermelon field off of Northwest Whitewater Gradein Calhoun County.
Sometime late Saturday or early Sunday morning Domingo-Perez was hung against her will. She was found with her left hand between the rope and her neck and there were ligature marks on her wrist which indicated that her hands had been bound for quite some time. There was bruising on the inside of her mouth which was evidence that she had been struck. We believe that she may have also been gagged.
It was evident that Domingo-Perez was not a willing participant. Manilla used a forklift and ropes to hang Domingo-Perez from the rafters of the pole barn, and subsequently hanged himself by the same method next to her. Domingo-Perez was found with the ligatures removed from her hands and the rag removed from her mouth. We believe this was done by Manilla prior to hanging himself, with the intent to make the scene look like a double suicide. There was no evidence to suggest that anyone else had been to the farm during the time of the incident. Autopsies were conducted on both subjects. The autopsy revealed that Domingo-Perez was approximately five weeks pregnant. At this time we do not know who the father was but we do believe that this may have been a factor in the motive of the homicide.
Calhoun County deputies are working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to sort through cell phone content from both subjects in an effort to gain a clearer picture of the deceased relationship and the events that took place prior to the crime.
Although we are confident in our findings, we are considering this case active at this time, pending the report from the Medical Examiners Office, and lab results from FDLE.
Information provided by the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office
Authorities say a pregnant 15 year old migrant worker was murdered in Calhoun County at some point between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The 32 year old suspect then took his own life in what officials are calling a murder-suicide.
This wasn't believed to be a random act of violence, in fact officials believe this tragic incident may have been a crime of passion. Calhoun County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jared Nichols is the lead investigator on the case, "A murder suicide by this means is completely out of the ordinary I think in any location."
A pole barn located off Whitewater Grade Rd. in Clarksville was the former place of work for a 32 year old male suspect, now he has made it a crime scene.
Sheriff Glen Kimbrel, "We received a call from an individual that said he arrived on a property and said two individuals had been hanged."
Investigator Nichols, "They had discovered at least one of their migrant workers along with another unidentified female."
She was 15 years old, a resident of Marianna and also a migrant.
Sheriff Kimbrel believes the two had a relationship, "He was interested in her on a romantic level, she did not reciprocate those feelings but we do not know the extent of that relationship. Her hands were bound together and we believe that she was probably hung by this individual. It is very obvious that she fought for her life but ultimately lost it."
Investigator Jared Nichols is using the suspects phone to discover when the murder took place, "The last text that was sent from his phone was Sunday morning around 7:50 a.m. Then a short time later than we believe the male part of the investigation then hung himself."
During the autopsy investigators learned the 15 year old was four to five weeks pregnant and believe that may have played a role in the crime motive.
The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office is working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in order to learn all details of the case.