Murder Investigation

NEWS RELEASE 17-261

As a follow up to Saturday's media advisory, detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 48-year-old Jessica Winkler for Murder and Tampering with Evidence. 

The investigation began when Winkler dialed 9-1-1 at approximately 3:58 p.m. on Saturday, to report she murdered her wife at their home located at 1429 Overbrook Road in Englewood.

Deputies arrived on scene and found the victim, 51-year-old Rhiannon Layendecker, in the bed of her own truck wrapped in a blanket. Detectives determined that Winkler murdered Layendecker during an argument within their home in the early morning hours and then attempted to dispose of Layendecker's body and other evidence. 

The Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force (S.U.R.F.) team recovered evidence in a nearby body of water. Detective also located a residence in Charlotte County where investigation revealed Winkler intended to bury Layendecker's body. 

Based on a preliminary examination, the Medical Examiners Office’s determined Layendecker died as a result of homicidal violence by gunfire.  

Winkler remains in custody at the Sarasota County Jail without bond. The investigation is ongoing.