SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- An 18-year veteran of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office was arrested Monday for allegedly attempting to murder an elderly Sarasota woman and covering it up to make it look like a suicide.
Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight identified the employee as Frankie Eugene Bybee, who was arrested Monday after an internal affairs investigation revealed Bybee's alleged plot to steal the victim's dog, money and to kill her when she reported his activity.
The 79-year-old woman reported Bybee's alleged harassment on December 20, 2016 to deputies nearly two months after he befriended her while answering a call at her residence. Bybee maintained the friendship and introduced the victim to his family members.
When the victim was hospitalized, Bybee took possession of her dog and was given a $1,000 check to cover the pet's expenses. During this time Bybee asked the victim for her personal financial information and was able to gain access to her home. He visited the victim in the hospital to further his relationship with her.
Knight said that Bybee refused to return the dog to the victim, but refused and told her that he gave the dog to another owner over Craigslist.
On January 9, 2017, Sarasota Sheriff's Office received evidence of four checks made under the victim's name written out to Bybee and his three children for $65,000. The victim told detectives that she did not write the check and fingerprints left on the check positively linked Bybee to the forgery.
SCSO moved to place Bybee on administrative leave immediately after the revelation.
Three days later, the victim called deputies to her residence after she was allegedly forced to ingest prescription medication by Bybee after he physically dominated her and forced the pills into her mouth. She lost consciousness but awoke and alerted SCSO.
Deputies found that the garage door was left open and the house was filled with carbon monoxide after her car was left running. Detectives ascertained that Bybee< was attempting to cover up his crimes by making the scene appear to be a suicide.
Bybee faces multiple charges including attempted murder, exploitation of the elderly, forgery, petty theft, two counts of grand theft, burglary of an occupied dwelling and battery on a victim 65 years or older. He is currently held at the Sarasota County jail.
"Bybee's actions do not reflect the nearly 1,000 members of this agency. who represent every day, who are out with kids, who are out there in public and who this community has trust in... It is beyond unacceptable an individual who works in a postilion of trust and guardianship to their community and is capable of the heinous crimes like Frankie Bybee committed. It is a disgrace to this agency and to the law enforcement profession," Sheriff Knight said.
The agency is continuing to investigate Bybee and has asked the public to come forward with any information about his past behavior. Call SCSO criminal investigations section at 941-861-4932.