Cold Case Unit solves manslaughter case from 2018

On December 5, 2018 Kim Zaheer called 9-1-1 to report that her 85-year-old mother, Frances King, needed an ambulance and that she was not breathing.  The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office sent deputies and paramedics to the scene; however, when they arrived at the residence, they reported to Historic City News that they discovered King, deceased.

Further investigation revealed that King was extremely malnourished.  It appeared that she had not eaten in a long time. Deputies also reported the living conditions inside King’s bedroom were “extremely bad” and the odor of feces and urine was unbearable.

“Frances King died of severe emaciation and emphysematous cystitis due to elder abuse, neglect, and starvation,” the District 23 Medical Examiner’s Office determined at autopsy.  King’s death was ruled to be a homicide.

The initial investigation stalled when detectives encountered difficulty obtaining medical and legal records to establish the victim had a diminished mental capacity and that Zaheer was the legally responsible party for her care.

In the summer of 2020, Sheriff Rick Staly created a dedicated, full-time Cold Case Unit, to focus on sex crimes, missing persons, homicides, and any other unsolved, violent crime where prosecution was still possible under the statute of limitations.  Detective Andrew Cangialosi was selected as the first full-time Cold Case detective.  He works closely with the FCSO Crime Scene Unit, the Homicide Investigations Unit of the State Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Cold Case Advisory Committee for the Florida Sheriff’s Association, and the Office of the Medical Examiner.

In March of 2020, Detective Cangialosi was assigned to review the Frances King manslaughter case. The investigation into King’s death continued and Detective Cangialosi was eventually able to locate a “Certificate of Incapacity” and that King’s daughter, Zaheer, was the “Primary Care Surrogate” for King at the time of her death. It was also determined that the last time King visited her Primary Care doctor was in November 2017.

On March 31st of this year, Detective Cangialosi obtained an arrest warrant for 64-year-old Kim Zaheer, charging her with aggravated manslaughter of an elderly disabled adult.  She was arrested and is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

“Cases like these and the small list of other unsolved cases of homicides, missing persons, and sex crimes are what led to the creation of the Cold Case Unit,” Sheriff Rick Staly said earlier this week.  “I am grateful that we were able to arrest the suspect in this case and hopefully this can offer some closure to family and friends of the victim. If you are responsible for the care of a human being, you must take care of them. No matter how long it takes, we will continue these investigations to hold people accountable for their crimes.”