Authorities are hoping a recent picture of Doris Carter and Kelly Moriarty will help them get leads on their case
Tampa, FL -- On December 18th 2009, criminal records show Doris Carter wanted her daughter and son-in law out of the home they were all sharing in Plant City.
Her petition for an order of protection was filed a full two years before Carter would eventually have the couple evicted.
In the application, Carter writes: "I go to my room to get away from them" and describes a physical confrontation her daughter Stacy Muralt, with whom she "can not get along". "Her face touching my face," she wrote, then "pushed me out of my office chair on the floor, hurting my left wrist and thumb."
"We are going to look at every aspect, including the family. And they're aware of that," said Det. Larry mcKinnon with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Detectives say they have known about the alleged domestic violence.
"Those are all red flags in a lot of people's minds, but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of 'you're the one that's committed a homicide," said McKinnon.
Just 12 days later, Carter had the protective order application dismissed, but the bad blood apparently continued, culminating in an eviction application two years later.
Within days of that eviction notice being served against the Muralts, Doris Carter, 62, and her partner, 38-year-old Kelly Moriarty, mysteriously disappeared.
Moriarty's severed leg washed ashore behind a St. Petersburg home about a month later this past January.
"In and of itself it could appear suspicious in someone's mind, but it doesn't allow, as an investigator, you still need to remain impartial," said McKinnon.
In other developments, detectives say DNA tests show skeletal remains of a human foot recently found near Egmont Key were from a man, not a woman.
And forensic tests on several bags of possible evidence taken from the Muralts' home just two weeks ago were still being analyzed.
"It would be premature to speculate or publicly say what's come out of that," said McKinnon. "A lot of that's forensics and that takes time, but we are moving forward in the investigation. It is a priority case and we're confident we'll get it solved."
Kelly Moriarty's family and even some of Carter's relatives in Pennsylvania have begun to raise questions in this case. But the sheriff's office says it is not ready to rule anyone or anything out just yet.