Missing mother's family blames ex-boyfriend for her murder

Kim O'Connell's body was never found

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Joe Rossi says he'll never give up when it comes to finding his daughter Kim O'Connell.

"I've swam in canals down here that will make your hair curl where they dragged, looking for her. I've been in the woods searching for over two years. It's cost me a heart attack," said Rossi.

Rossi, his wife, and other daughter, Deserie, came to the Pasco County Courthouse Friday morning, because they believe Kim was murdered.  And they also believe James Rappa is the killer.

"Until our dying day, we are not going to give up finding out what happened to her," said O'Connell's sister Deserie Macaluso.

James Rappa has dozens of arrests on his record, including domestic violence charges involving O'Connell. The two lived together in Hudson when the 43-year-old hospice worker disappeared on July 5, 2009.

"Ten days before she was due to testify, she hasn't been seen or heard of since," said Rossi.

Despite what Kim's family thinks, investigators have never found a body or evidence of foul play. They still have to call this a missing persons case. They say Rappa is not a suspect, but he is a person of interest.

"We have no closure as of yet, and this animal is in this jail, not for the crime I know he committed. The whole world knows he committed," said Macaluso.

Rappa's latest arrest was for selling cocaine. He accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 45 months in prison. 

Kim's family is outraged that he might be back on the streets in less than four years.

They are also torn apart that Kim is gone.

"I can't stand when my wife takes her clothes and starts sniffing them, just to get the aroma of Kim," said Rossi.

Rappa says he doesn't know what happened to Kim. But her family fears the worst and they just want answers.

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