A string of domestic incidents may have been the precursor for two deaths in Bradenton Beach.
Law enforcement officers began an investigation Oct. 17 at a triplex in the 2500 block of Avenue C in Bradenton Beach, where Sabrina Dumdei, 37, and Zachary Winton, 34, were found dead, according to Bradenton Beach Police Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz.
Diaz called the case a “probable murder-suicide,” but added Oct. 18 that he was waiting for the medical examiner’s assessment of the bodies.
Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale told The Islander that Dumdei’s father called the BBPD around 2:30 p.m. Oct. 17 to report he found two bodies when he arrived at the property to contact his daughter.
Bradenton Beach resident Patty Shay told The Islander that she walked by the scene after Speciale arrived, when she heard Dumdei’s mother say, “My daughter and her boyfriend just killed each other.”
Speciale, who lives a block over on Avenue B, was the first to respond to the scene after a neighbor ran to his home and notified him of the father’s discovery.
Speciale said Dumdei was a family friend who’d worked for his now-retired wife at a salon she owned.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office crime scene unit arrived around 2:50 p.m. to begin its investigation.
Authorities had not disclosed many details about the incident as of Oct. 18, including what weapons were used or how and where the bodies were found within the upstairs rental apartment.
“There’s a lot of blood,” Speciale said of the scene. “We don’t know the weapon yet, so we’re waiting to find out where the wounds are and what they’re consistent with.”
A broken, blood-spattered chair was visible on the second-floor balcony of the triplex as law enforcement officers began investigating the scene. Blood also could be seen splashed across the sliding glass door and blind behind the chair, as well as smeared on the door to the residence.
Diaz said the mess was even worse inside, where they found the bodies.
“It was a gruesome scene,” he said. “Probably the worst I’ve seen in my 30 years.”
Employees from the District 12 medical examiner’s office removed the bodies from the residence around 9:50 p.m. for examination, which could take up to a month to complete, according to Diaz.
The couple had been involved in three known domestic incidents in the months leading up to their deaths.
Dumdei was arrested July 19 for misdemeanor domestic battery, but the charge was dropped before the case could make it to an arraignment hearing and she was released.
Winton was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery Aug. 10 and was released after posting bond.
The bond was later disposed when the charge was dropped.
Most recently, Winton was arrested Aug. 31 on four felony charges, including aggravated assault of his partner with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment and tampering with a witness.
He denied the allegations and was released Sept. 1 after posting a $16,000 bail, and the case remained open.
Winton was instructed not to contact Dumdei, but Winton’s attorney filed a motion Sept. 9 for consensual contact.
Judge Lon Arend of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court granted a motion Sept. 15 to lift the no-contact order between the pair.