PCSO Press Release:
On Monday, August 5, 2019, PCSO detectives arrested 85-year-old Jose Tavera of Kissimmee (the mailing address is Kissimmee, but the residence is on the Polk side of Poinciana) and charged him with first degree murder in the death of his 90-year-old common-law wife.
The PCSO Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received a call around 5:50 a.m. on August 5th, in reference to a suspicious person standing in the middle of the roadway at Marigold Avenue and Bell Tower Crossing in Poinciana. The person was described by the caller as an older male wearing a white T-shirt.
When deputies arrived on-scene, they made contact with the man, identified as Jose Tavera. He had blood on his shirt and hands, and could not tell deputies where he lived, and was not making sense. While PCFR transported him to a local hospital, deputies responded to his home on Martin Lane in Kissimmee.
When deputies arrived at his home, they found the garage door up, and the door leading into the home partially open. Deputies announced their presence but received no response. They entered the home and found Hilda Roman deceased in the master bedroom. There were no signs of forced entry.
Hilda was laying on her back, wearing a nightgown, with obvious trauma on her face, head, arms, and wrists. There was a wooden side table on top of her. She had bruising and lacerations consistent with being beaten. According to family members, Hilda and Jose are not legally married but have lived together for over 60 years.
Detectives interviewed Tavera and observed dried blood under his fingernails on both hands, and he appeared to be shaken and upset.
During the interview, Jose told detectives he was not under the influence of any medications, was healthy, and that he knew what day it was. He said he didn’t have a home and just walked the streets. He also said he did not have a phone or a car. He said he did not know Hilda Roman. When he was asked what was on his fingernails, he said it was paint and explained a guy called him to do a painting job in Orlando. When he was asked what phone the guy called him on, he changed his story and said the guy ran into him on the street. Jose could not provide any further details regarding the painting job. Jose was shown photographs of Hilda and the residence located on Martin Lane in Kissimmee – he said he had never seen Hilda before and he did not know the residence. Jose then said that detectives were trying to accuse him of something happening at that residence. When asked what detectives were trying to accuse him of he said, “I’m not a murderer.” Jose then stopped responding to questions.
Tavera was arrested and charged with first degree murder and booked into the Polk County Jail.
Tavera has been Baker Acted and is in a local medical facility, and as such, he does not have a mugshot.