Former Summit resident murdered in Florida
TAMPA ” Katrina “Katie” Anne Froeschle, who lived in Keystone during the 2002-2003 ski season, was found murdered in the Tampa neighborhood of Sulphur Springs late Saturday.
The St. Petersburg Times reported the 25-year-old was working as a State Farm insurance adjuster, assessing the damage of hurricanes that ripped through Florida this summer.
Froeschle’s parents, who are described as being very close to their daughter, reported her missing Saturday morning.
Police found her 2003 Chevrolet Impala at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Harbor Club Bar, a few blocks from the home she was to inspect the day before.
The Tampa Tribune reported that detectives interviewing the renter of the home, Jason Matthew Funk, 27, noticed clothing floating in the Hillsborough River. Divers found Froeschle’s body in the river about 5 feet from a dock behind the house.
Tampa police public information officer Joe Durkin said Froeschle suffered “upper body trauma.” He declined to elaborate, saying he needs to protect the integrity of the investigation.
Funk has not been charged with her death, although police arrested him Sunday on charges of cultivating marijuana after they found 19 plants growing in a closet in his home.
Police took DNA samples on other items collected inside the house and submitted them to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing. They expect to have results on Friday, Durkin said.
Sunday, police returned to Funk’s home to search the river for a weapon and items that might have belonged to Froeschle. Durkin said that search was unsuccessful, but police have several ideas as to what the weapon was. He again declined to elaborate.
“We’re talking to everyone we can,” Durkin said, adding that the lab tests will help determine whether Funk will be charged or not. “We’re reconstructing her last couple of days, reviewing everything about that person, her contacts, cell phones, gas receipts. We have not narrowed the possibility down to anybody just yet.”
The Froeschle family moved from Colorado to Tierra Verde, Fla., about 10 years ago, when Froeschle was a high school sophomore. She graduated high school in 1998 and attended Florida State University, earning a finance degree in 2002.
She then moved back to Colorado for the 2002-2003 season. Most recently, she had begun taking classes at Florida State University in hopes of earning a veterinary degree.
The family told the St. Petersburg newspaper that they felt safe knowing their daughter was working in the insurance industry and going to peoples’ homes to assess damage after the hurricanes.
The neighborhood is a predominantly working class neighborhood in North Tampa, Durkin said.
“It has had its share of crime,” he said. “But this offense shocks the conscience of the community, to have a young lady going out to do damage assessment for insurance purposes following a very active hurricane service down here. She represents anyone’s daughter, sister, mother. That it was brutal and heinous to take a life in such a fashion is what shocks the senses.”
Froeschle is survived by her parents, Jeff and Leonore of Tierra Verde, Fla., brother Sam, 17, and sister, Jesse, 15.
Services are today in Tampa.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or at email@example.com.
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