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Couple suspected in 60 burglaries, 2 homicides

Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 25, 2016
A man and wife suspected in 60 burglaries and two homicides, including one in Citrus County, have been arrested in Marion County.
 
Detectives say they found one of the stolen items being advertised on Craigslist. They then started watching the couple come and go from their Ocala home. One day, they tracked the couple to a home in Sumter County, where they committed another burglary.
 
Dubbed the Pillowcase Burglars, Jessica Baker and Darren Decker targeted empty homes in Citrus, Alachua, Marion, Sumter and Levy counties, according to law enforcement. They forced entry, then took a pillow cases from the homes, filling them with jewelry, drugs, guns and small electronics.
 
During a search of their home, car and a storage facility, they found dozens of guns and a cache of other stolen items.
 
"A significant amount of evidence was recovered and we are currently sifting through that right now," Capt. Brian Dotten, Marion County Sheriff's Office, said.
 
Investigators say the couple first became violent in late January. They believe the two are responsible for killing a woman inside of a Marion County home during one of the break-ins.
 
"I feel confident that these individuals are connected. I can tell you it's going to take a lot more work to continue throughout the investigation to complete that task," Sheriff Chris Blair said.
 
The crimes continued for months. Then, on April 1, deputies found the body of 71-year-old Terry Pulmeri inside of a home in Dunnellon.
 
Detectives say the couple tied him up, beat him and stabbed him.
 
"We are very confident that the homicide in Citrus County was committed by these two individuals." Capt. Brad Smith of Citrus County Sheriff's Office said.
 
The couple is being held in the Sumter County Jail on burglary charges. More charges are expected, including charges involving the two homicides.