Two sisters were arrested in Florida on Tuesday for allegedly admitting to law enforcement that they killed their father as part of a "premeditated" act four years ago because he refused to enter an assisted living facility.
Mary-Beth Tomaselli, 63, and Linda Roberts, 62, were taken into custody after they detailed to a male confidant whom they befriended in recent months what they had seemingly done, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told reporters on Tuesday.
Roberts told the man — who recorded his conversations with her — that she and Tomaselli "euthanized" their father, Anthony Tomaselli, in March 2015, when he was 85 years old. The sheriff said that "Linda gave very specific details about how she and Mary-Beth killed their father."
The women said "they had killed their father, and had, quote, 'euthanized' him because he had been ill" and refused to go to an assisted living facility, according to the sheriff. He added, "They knew he would die sometime in the next couple of months, so they decided to euthanize him."
The sisters allegedly gave their father a concoction of alcohol and an "excessive" amount of sleeping pills "with the hope that it would kill him." However, the sheriff said Tomaselli put too much alcohol in the drink, which diluted it.
Their father was laying on the couch with labored breathing, but it didn't appear that he would die.
That's when, according to officials, "Linda tried to suffocate him by placing a pillow over his face, and when that didn’t work, Linda took a rag and stuffed the rag down his throat." At that point, the sheriff said, "Mary-Beth then pinched his nose close and held his arms until he stopped breathing and died."
Tomaselli told authorities that the situation was "weird" because after they allegedly killed their father, he "still had a pulse due to having a pacemaker despite being dead."
During this time, Tomaselli allegedly drugged her adult daughter who was in the house with sleeping pills, too, so she wouldn't have to be awake as her grandfather was "euthanized."
Once their father was dead, the daughters sold the home and split a $120,000 profit with their brother, who the sheriff's office said wasn't involved in the father's murder.
Both Tomaselli and Roberts were arrested and charged with first-degree murder, officials said.