Arrest in Thanksgiving murder

Investigation of the incidents surrounding the homicide of 62-year-old Tracey Ann Roof during the late evening of November 21st, and early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day, have culminated in the arrest of her boyfriend, 67-year-old Ronald Curtis Caruso, according to detectives who have been working the case.

Caruso, who resided at 801 Newpark Court in St Augustine, is facing a single charge of second-degree murder in the death of Tracey Ann Roof, with whom he shared the home.

At about 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night, the victim called 911, saying that she feared Caruso was having a heart attack.  Upon arrival, paramedics quickly determined that Caruso was intoxicated and not having a heart attack.  They assisted him off the floor, where he was found, and into a bed in the master bedroom, according to an arrest affidavit.  As they prepared to leave, they observed and recorded in their call notes that Roof had a bruise on her eye, but she refused law enforcement assistance.

A second 911 call from the Heritage Park home was received about 4-hours later; this time from Caruso reporting that Roof was on the floor of their bedroom, unresponsive, and not breathing.  Upon arrival, first responders observed that the room appeared tossed and the victim had suffered numerous visible bruises to her body.

Emergency medical personnel pronounced Tracey Ann Roof dead on November 22, 2018 at about 2:00 a.m.  Sheriff’s investigators reported finding “small pieces of broken wood” and “large clumps of hair” in the room along with blood stains on the carpet, walls and dresser.

The District 23 Medical Examiner has ruled Roof’s death a homicide with the cause listed as “multiple blunt force injuries”.  The investigation is active and continuing.

During this morning’s first appearance hearing, the judge will decide if bail is allowed, and if so, in what amount.  Caruso is currently in custody at the St. Johns County jail where he is being held without bond.