MANATEE — The slaying of Kathleen of Briles in her Terra Ceia home remains a mystery, and officials today are expected to offer a reward and plea from her grieving husband for any information that might lead to the capture of her killer.
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office detectives are still investigating who bound and beat Briles to death Aug. 3 in her living room. She was found by her husband, well-known Palmetto physician James Briles.
Dr. Briles is expected to read a statement today at a press conference at the sheriff’s office, pleading for information from the public about who killed his wife, according to Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube.
Sheriff’s detectives have collected DNA from the Briles home, and at least one fingerprint that has not been matched against a list of people the Briles family gave to authorities of those known to have been in the home.
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Investigators have not released exactly how Briles was beaten to death, or if the attack is being considered a robbery, burglary or home invasion. Steube said no new information regarding the investigation will be released.
“This is an effort to plead for information from the public,” Steube said.
Steube said his detectives have not ruled out accused serial home invader and rapist Delmer Smith III as a suspect in the case, though his fingerprints and DNA did not match any found in the Briles home.
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office officials announced Smith’s arrest Oct. 5, saying they found his DNA at the scenes of four home invasions and two rapes.
At the press conference, Manatee Commissioner Ron Getman will also attend on behalf of Gold Star Club of Manatee County, a group that offers rewards for information on violent crimes.
“We are pleased to support efforts to apprehend anyone that brings harm in our community, and we will gladly offer our part of the reward in this case,” Getman said.