Neighbors and Sarasota County Sheriff's Office say Thomas Moak, Jr. showed no warning signs prior to murders

7:45 PM, Feb 11, 2012   |    comments
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SARASOTA CO., Fla. -- Around 11 p.m Friday night, Thomas Moak, Jr. called a relative to share a horrifying message.

"He had killed his parents and sister and was thinking of killing himself," says Sarasota County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose.

When Sarasota County deputies arrived at 4142 Tonga Drive, where Moak lived with his parents and sister, Moak reportedly surrendered. The bodies of 82-year-old Isabelle Moak, 80-year-old Thomas Moak, Sr., and 62-year-old Renee O'Connor were found inside the house, which is in a neighborhood near Bee Ridge Road east of I-75.

"I've seen these people many, many times. They're very quiet," says neighbor Bob Rebey.

Even the Sheriff's Office says there were no warnings or signs that the man would shoot and kill his family.

"Something caused him to snap," Rose says.

In court Saturday morning, the 58-year-old talked with other defendants, then later waived his right to appear before a judge after seeing cameras in the courtroom.

"He was always very friendly with a big smile on his face," Rebey says.

According to neighbors on Tonga Drive, Moak was rarely seen around, even though he lived with his parents and sister.

17-year-old neighbor Edward Dorin came to the house to play poker whenever the family's grandson would visit from out of town.

"For as much as I did know [Thomas Moak, Jr.], I didn't think he was a bad guy. He seemed pretty nice," Dorin says. "It's pretty upsetting to see that [the family is] gone. It just makes me think why he did it."

That's what the Sheriff's Office is still piecing together tonight, leaving a tight-knit neighborhood searching for answers.

"Why?" Dorin asks. "Why would you do that to family?"

Moak has been booked into the Sarasota County Jail and is being held without bond. According to the Sheriff's Office, his arraignment has been scheduled for March 9. Autopsies will most likely be performed on Sunday to provide more insight into what happened.

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

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