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Woman Accused of Killing Wife Had Already Dug Hole for Her Body: Cops

'She said she was cleaning up'

What to Know

  • Jessica Winkler, 48, is accused of killing her wife after an argument
  • Cops say Winkler called 911 to confess after she shot her partner Rhiannon Layendecker, 51
  • Neighbors say they saw Winkler digging a hole in a yard, believed to be a grave for her wife's body

A woman accused of killing her wife after an argument chatted to neighbors as she dug her partner a homemade grave, witnesses say.

Florida woman Jessica Winkler, 48, is now behind bars, accused of murdering her wife Rhiannon Layendecker, 51, and then confessing the crime to a 911 dispatcher.

Throughout the day on Monday, crime scene technicians combed through a house on Overbrook Road in Englewood. There was still a lot of evidence to recover two days after the police department received a 911 phone call from Winkler, in which they say she confessed to killing Layendecker.

Winkler said she shot Layendecker after an argument earlier that day. Deputies soon found Layendecker’s body wrapped in a blanket in the back of her own truck.

“To know that someone lived that close that was willing to go that far, you know, like anything could’ve happened,” neighbor Jessie Leclerc said.

They also discovered Winkler planned to bury Layendecker at a home in Charlotte County.The hole was already dug.

Neighbors saw Winkler digging the hole on the property and they said she seemed normal.

“I went out and greeted her because I hadn’t seen her in a long time,” said one neighbor. “She said she was cleaning up.”

The two women are both transgender and neighbors said they kept to themselves. Jack DeLorenzo knew Layendecker for years.

“When I knew him he was a fun, loving car guy and would do anything for you,” DeLorenzo said.

He’s now in disbelief.

“It’s a sad situation. People can do what they want, they choose to be who they want to be. It's very sad,” DeLorenzo added.

The case was still under investigation and Winkler could face additional charges.

Winkler was charged with murder and tampering with evidence. She was being held at the Sarasota County Jail without bond.

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