Missing inmate killed in St. Pete murder-suicide

Posted at 1:39 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 17:23:19-04

St. Pete Police confirm a missing inmate was likely killed by the father of her child on Sunday.  Her body was discovered following a SWAT standoff. 

Police say Michael Brown took his own life as police closed in Thursday morning.

It happened at 3328 21st Street North.

Police told ABC Action News Christal Anderson's body was found inside a closet in the bedroom.  The body showed signs of decomposition.

According to police, Anderson, 34, failed to return to from work release Sunday.

She was wearing a GPS monitor and Florida Department of Corrections Officers say they began tracking and sending messages to device at  4:22 p.m. 

At that time, the ankle monitor sent an alert that it had been tampered with, usually indicating it has been cut, police say.

A message was sent to ankle monitor instructing Anderson call in to the center, police said.

At 4:35 p.m. Brown called in and told the the work release center Anderson had cut the bracelet off, walked down the street, got into a car and left following an argument, police explained.

Police theorize Brown cut off the monitor after he killed Anderson and was buying himself time.

On Wednesday, police went to Brown's home.

They say family members showed up with the 6-year-old boy and despite the urging of detectives not to enter the residence, the family members did.

When they returned, they reportedly handed officers a note Brown had slid under the door stating Anderson was in the bedroom with him.

Brown later texted family members saying he had killed Anderson, police say.

That is when SWAT responded to the home.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. there were continuous attempts to get Brown to negotiate with them, police explained. He did speak briefly, according to detectives, and around midnight he indicated he was coming out but then asked for more time.
At that point, Brown stopped communicating.
After midnight, tear gas was thrown into the home but there was no response.
SWAT officers reportedly heard two gunshots.
Then, Brown contacted them by phone.
A robot was sent into the home, detectives say, and Brown could be seen under a bed.  He appeared lifeless and that is when SWAT team members decided to go into the home.
"At that point his options were limited," said Assistant Police Chief Jim Previtera.
According to Previtera, when SWAT team members got into the bedroom, Brown took his own life.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say they are not clear why Brown killed Anderson. 
"They had their ups and downs but i didn't know it was that bad," said Lisa Brown, the suspect's sister.  "She [Anderson] was a good mom."
They also have yet to determine her cause of death.
"Only two people know and he's gone and she's gone," Previtera added.
The Medical Examiner removed both bodies from the home Thursday morning.
On Monday and Tuesday, police say they started interviewing other inmates who knew Anderson.
Those inmates reportedly told police that Anderson confided in them that Brown had been violent toward here and once she'd come back from a visit with bruises.  Anderson also told fellow inmates Brown's behavior had been erratic and he had made several threats against her, police say.
Their child is now with family members.
"Just be there for my nephew.  As they say, life goes on," Lisa Brown said.
According to police, Brown does have a criminal history but nothing that would indicate this level of violence.
A search of jail records shows Brown has arrests stemming back to March 1993.  His arrests range from bicycle regulations and speeding to felony battery.
Brown had also filed domestic violence injunctions against Anderson on behalf of their son.
Brown was granted an injunction in 2014.  However, when he went to get another injunction in May 2015, it was denied.
Arrest records show Anderson had an arrest for petit theft in 2011.
At the time of her disappearance, she was serving a sentence for scheme to defraud.  She was five months from completion of sentence.
FDOC officials called her a model inmate.
FDOC Communications Director McKinley P. Lewis released the following statement regarding Anderson's death:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Christal Anderson who, this morning, was identified as the victim of an apparent homicide. Anderson had been on a Department approved furlough from her work release assignment at the Suncoast Community Release Center. With approximately five months remaining on her sentence, Anderson’s furlough was approved to assist in the re-entry process and help her gradually reintegrate back into the community. On March 27, 2016, after receiving a cut-bracelet alert from Anderson’s GPS monitor, FDC notified the St. Petersburg Police Department, per standard procedure, who immediately initiated an investigation. FDC is proactively working with the St. Petersburg Police Department, who is the lead investigative authority, to provide assistance. Please contact the St. Petersburg Police Department with any questions regarding this investigation.”