March 15, 2012

Woman arrested for 2007 murder of Key Largo man



Update: Monroe County Investigators who are  in Walton County, Florida say they interviewed Denise Bozarth this morning when she was arrested. They say she gave a full confession, admitting to killing her husband Edward Bozarth. She is in custody.


Investigators have made an arrest in the 2007 killing of Key Largo resident Edward Bozarth. His wife, Denise Bozarth, has been charged with first degree murder and is currently in custody in Walton County, Florida. She will be returned to Monroe County to face the charges.

The case, a joint investigation by the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit,  the Florida Department of Law Enforcement  the State Attorney’s Office, and Upper Keys Sheriff’s Office road patrol has been a long haul for everyone from all agencies involved.

“The detectives  who investigated this case worked hard to get to this point,” said Sheriff Bob Peryam, who made investigating Cold Cases such as this one a priority when he took office. “They should all be congratulated on a job well done.  I’m excited about the outcome of the investigation and I couldn’t be prouder of all the agencies who worked this from start to finish.”

62 year old Edward Bozarth was found dead July 1, 2007 on board his boat, the “[SCREW] U 2”, docked at Gilbert’s Resort in Key Largo. He lived on board the boat with his wife, Denise, 39 years of age, and their two children. His body was found in the starboard engine compartment, wrapped in a canvas sail storage bag. His head was covered with a towel. He’d been dead for approximately a week. The Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of an overwhelming odor from a man working on a nearby  vessel.

When detectives entered the boat, they found the air conditioners had been set to 60 degrees. Bozarth had significant traumatic injuries to his face and head. The autopsy found he died of blunt force trauma to his head, and the death was ruled a homicide by the Medical Examiner.

Investigation revealed the Bozarths had been married for 9 years to Denise. A short time before Bozarth’s death, Denise had asked him for a separation; her parents picked up their children and took them to Defuniak Springs, Florida on June 16th. On June 23rd, Denise left Key Largo for Defuniak Springs, to join her children there.  She told investigators that was the last day she saw her husband alive. Investigators interviewed Denise multiple times since then and said she made many inconsistent statements to them about what happened that day. At one point, Denise submitted to a polygraph examination, which she reportedly failed.

A witness, Bonnie Colon, who lived on board the vessel with the couple during the summer of 2007 told investigators Denise would speak to her daily about killing her husband, talking specifically about different ways she thought about doing it. Once she reportedly described killing him by hitting him over the head and pushing him in the water; another time she reportedly said she’d kill him while he was sleeping, wrap him in plastic and put him in the bilge of the vessel. The witness said Denise also talked to her about an inheritance Bozarth had gotten from his mother. Denise told her she would get the money upon his death. Investigators confirmed Bozarth had inherited a large sum of money and that Denise was, indeed, a beneficiary upon his death.

Colon told investigators Denise met with her on June 23rd and told her not to go near the boat and that Bozarth had left the area. She said Denise then left as well, and that was the last time Colon spoke to her.

A man who also lived at the marina, David Campbell, admitted to investigators he was having an affair with Denise prior to her husband’s death. He said at one point she offered him $10,000.00 for the murder of her husband, but he refused.

Today, Denise Bozarth was arrested in Walton County and was charged with first degree murder. She will be returned to Monroe County to face the charges.

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