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Family, friends mourn the loss of a deputy's wife, who was killed by her husband in murder-suicide

Deputies responded to a murder-suicide late Sunday
Posted: 9:33 PM, Sep 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-24 23:20:23-04

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. — Friends and family are mourning the loss of a deputy's wife, Samantha Keithley. Pasco County deputies said she was shot and killed by her husband who worked as a Hillsborough County deputy. 

Samantha Keithley's brother, Taylor Starling, said his sister was independent, caring and an amazing mother.

Related:  Wife sent text messages to friend before she was allegedly killed by her husband, a HCSO deputy

"Our family and all her friends and everybody were robbed of a very, very loving and caring person," said Taylor Starling. 

Starling said he was close to his sister after they lost their mother at a very young age.


Photo courtesy: Taylor Starling

"Growing up together, we were best friends. We lost our mother at a young age and it brought me and her closer. She was always there for me and she kind of became a mother figure to me," said Starling.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Samantha's husband, Kirk Keithley, shot and killed her and then killed himself inside the couple's home in Land O' Lakes. Four children were inside the home, but not hurt.

"I never knew or heard of him being violent in any type of way," said Starling.

Samantha's close friend shared a text she received late Sunday night just hours before deputies said she was killed.

The text read, "Kirk has lost his mind. He's literally losing it." 

"My sister was the type if there was something threatening her or her children she definitely would have left the situation," said Starling.

Samantha's close friend, Lauren Mormino, said she was never aware of the couple getting into any physical fights. She first met Samantha in high school. Mormino said by phone, "Samantha was an amazing mother." 

Family and friends are stunned by reality.

"It's just a shame, not only for us, but for her three children to have to grow up without her love," said Starling.

Family said Samantha and Kirk had two children together. Each of them had one more child from a previous marriage. 

Family said Samantha went to school for nursing. She also worked as a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty. She also worked at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa.  

"Sam was part of our Hard Rock family for over 10 years. She was truly loved by all who knew her. Our focus now is to support each other as we mourn this devastating loss. We are broken-hearted," said Joe Lupo, President of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. 

The couple's children are with close family members. A GoFundMe has been created to help provide financial support for the children.