AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Homicide detectives have charged a 50-year-old man with first-degree murder in the strangling death of his wife, authorities say.
According to his affidavit, around 7:40 p.m. on Sunday, the PCSO ECC received a 9-1-1 call in reference to a disturbance at a home off of Dixie Highway in Auburndale. When deputies arrived, they met Randolph Maya, 50, at the front door, who told deputies that nothing was going on and that they weren't needed.
In the background, deputies say they could hear crying, which was coming from a witness. The other witness living there approached the deputies and said, "I think she's dead."
Deputies say they located the victim, 50-year-old Jodi Maya, slumped over in a bathroom, unresponsive. CPR was performed, and she was transported to Winter Haven Hospital. Her heart stopped beating several times during the transport and after she was admitted. She was pronounced deceased at 6:55 a.m. on Monday.
An autopsy conducted on Tuesday ruled that her cause of death was asphyxiation, and the manner of death, homicide.
During interviews, one of the witnesses in the home told deputies she heard Jodi scream and say, "He is going to kill me," and then everything went quiet, so the witness left her bedroom to see what was going on. Deputies say that through the crack of the bathroom door, she saw Randolph facing Jodi while Jodi was sitting on the toilet, as he was standing between her legs and leaning on her. The witness went back to her room and called 9-1-1. The witness then went back to the bathroom, where Jodi was unresponsive - the witness didn't know where Randolph was at that time.
Randolph told deputies that the victim had high blood pressure, and he would not explain his swollen left eye, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. He also had a bite mark on his left wrist.
Randolph Maya, 50
Deputies say that the victim had bruising on her neck — consistent with being strangled — as well as bruising on her upper arm, her thigh, and a broken fingernail. Investigators say that these injuries indicate that a struggle took place.
"October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we are sad to report that we're already investigating a domestic-related murder on the first day of the month," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. "Please, if you are in a dangerous situation, get out and get help before things escalate. There are so many resources out there to assist victims of domestic violence."
Randolph was booked into the Polk County Jail on Monday and charged with one count attempted murder, and one count violation of probation. His attempted murder charge was upgraded to first-degree murder after the autopsy on Tuesday.
In 2011, Randolph was sentenced to 15 years' probation for organized fraud, out of Broward County. His recent arrest violated that probation.
Randolph Maya's criminal history includes the following previous arrests:
- December 1991 - FHP - DUI
- November 1993 - Osceola Co SO - Aggravated Assault
- September 1994 - Osceola Co SO - DUI
- September 1998 - PCSO - Larceny
- February 1999 - PCSO - Battery
- March 2000 - Auburndale PD - Fraud
- March 2003 - Orange Co SO - DUI
- December 2004 - Orange Co SO - Battery
- March 2006 - Broward Co SO - Failure to Appear
- December 2007 - PCSO - Out of County Warrant
- January 2008 - Broward Co SO - Larceny, Fraud
- May 2008 - Broward Co SO - Failure to Appear
- June 2008 - Miami-Dade PD - 4 counts Larceny
- August 2009 - PCSO - Out of County Warrant
PCSO responded to the residence most recently on September 14, 2018, to a disturbance call, during which Jodi told deputies that no battery occurred.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-500-1119 to speak with someone who can help.