A Florida woman made a shocking discovery after receiving a letter from her mother’s husband over the weekend. The letter stated that the woman’s mother was dead and soon her mother’s husband, 72-year-old Donald Place, would be too. The woman, taken back by the bizarre letter, requested police to conduct a welfare check on the elderly couple.

Police arrived at the mobile home the couple shared and noticed that the door had been ajar. Inside, police found a decomposed body, later identified as 62-year-old Debra Jean Place. Missing from the scene had been a Mercury station wagon registered to the couple. Attempts to reach Donald Place were unsuccessful.


Donald Place, who is considered to be a suspect in the suspicious death of Debra Jean Place, was later located in Ulster County and taken for a psychological evaluation. He is currently being held on a warrant for unrelated charges out of New York. While in custody, Place was questioned about the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife and the bizarre letter he had written to her daughter.

Police are keeping details surrounding the suspected murder close to the vest as the investigation continues.


Neighbors of the Places expressed frustration to the Daytona Beach News-Journal because police would not reveal any details involving the case. Many residents within the mobile home community feared that their safety was in jeopardy. Those fears were later put to rest when police assured residents it was an isolated incident.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact the Ormond Beach Police Department at 386-677-0731. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS (8477).