2 dead in Longboat Key resort killings, suspect at large

Two people at a luxury resort are dead, and law enforcement is looking for a suspect.

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. - Two employees were found shot to death inside the Zota Beach Resort early Friday morning in what investigators believe was an armed robbery.

"This has every indication of an isolated robbery gone bad," Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming said. "I don’t have any concern for residents or visitors on the island based on this incident.”

The bodies of Timothy Hurley, 59, a front desk manager, and Kevin Carter, 51, a security guard, were found by a hotel guest. 

“He would do anything for anyone, loving, love to smile had a heart of gold,” said Kristine Geer, Hurley's niece. “He’s my uncle but he raised me like his own.”

Investigators released surveillance video of a man, who while walking by the hotel bar and holding a gun, stops, looks at the camera and uses his finger to indicate a neck being slashed.

Another surveillance clip shows the man walking out of the resort with a cash drawer.

Resort guests and town residents were surprised by the killings.

 “Just a picturesque place to be to wake up to this it’s crazy past place you’d expect it,” said guest Adam Freeman.

Known as the safest small city in the state, the killings are the town's first in over a decade.

“My mom said last night we were saying how we bet there’s no crime around here,” Freeman said.

U.S. Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) was on a morning bike ride when he came across the crime scene.

“I’m shocked. Never hear that on Longboat Key," he said. "I’ve lived here 20 years.”

Crime Stoppers of Manatee County, The Florida Sheriff’s Association and Zota Beach Resort have created an $18,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this killings.

Anyone with information is asked to call 866-634-TIPS.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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