The man charged with killing the woman he lived with still had blood on his hands and clothes when he went drinking to a nearby bar afterward, according to detectives.
Barak Pozas, 51, was arrested Friday afternoon and ultimately charged with murder in the death of Joan Demeo. He was also charged with resisting arrest. He is being held without bond at the Manatee County jail.
Demeo had not returned to her job at a nearby assisted living facility, and a close friend had gone to check on her. The woman called 911 after being horrified to find her friend covered in a blanket, sitting in a chair in the carport of her mobile home, according to the arrest report.
Deputies arrived moments later to the bloody scene and could see the victim had suffered massive blunt trauma to her head and was already dead. They quickly learned that Pozas lived with the victim and was known for frequently drinking at Clancy's Irish Sport Bar and Grill and Tommy Knockers Saloon.
Deputies quickly responded to both bars, which are within walking distance from the home, and found Pozas at Tommy Knockers, 7004 Cortez Road West, Bradenton. Pozas had what appeared to be blood on his hands and clothes, deputies said, and he appeared very drunk and was uncooperative.
But when deputies tried to take Pozas' clothes to preserve the evidence, he began to complain of a medical issue, according to the arrest report. Deputies took Pozas to Manatee Memorial Hospital as a result. While there, a search warrant had been obtained authorizing the sheriff's office to seize his bloodied clothing and a swab of his DNA.
Again, Pozas refused to give up his clothes as well as the DNA sample, so he had to be restrained in order for both to be taken.
Meanwhile back at the home, a medical examiner found pieces of human tissue in the blood spatter on the wall. The blood spatter was consistent with Demeo's injuries, the medical examiner concluded, and because of her injuries and the manner in which they would have to occur would have left "high velocity blood spatter" on the suspect's pants. This was possible given the suspect's height and that the victim was seated at the time she was murdered.
Poza's pants were taken to the sheriff's office crime scene lab and examined by a blood stain pattern analyst, who found blood spatter and human tissue on the pants consistent with the evidence at the home and the manner in which the victim was killed.
Detectives with the Manatee Homicide Investigative Unit are still investigating the nature of the relationship between Demeo and her suspected killer, according to sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow. Pozas was employed, that detectives could determine, but was said to act as Demeo's caretaker. The two may have been romantically involved.
While detectives say an exact motive is still unknown, friends of the victim said Pozas was upset because he wanted to return to Arizona, but couldn't because he had to take care of her.
Facebook posts reveal a photo of the two together and numerous comments by Pozas on Demeo's photos, many of which included, "I love you."
The victim had been suffering from heart problems, according to her own Facebook posts, but had returned to work. Her friend who discovered her Friday also took to Facebook to express her sorrow and heartbreak.
"I love you my dear sweet Joan. My life is changed forever," she wrote. "I'll never forget laughing until we cried. Now I can't stop crying."