A Lakeland woman is facing murder charges in the death of a man whose body was found in July.
Victoria Collins, 58, is facing charges of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in connection with the death of Gary Greenfield, 65.
Greenfield's decomposed body was found July 29 under a tarp behind a home at 1216 Windsong Dr. in Lakeland, which detectives say he was renting from Collins. According to the medical examiner, Greenfield could have been dead for between three to four weeks.
Shortly after Greenfield's body was discovered, Ledger reporter Clifford Parody left his business card with his cell phone number at Collins' door.
Then Sheriff Grady Judd said Parody received a phone call from a woman who said her name was Tomkwa. The woman claimed she and she and her boyfriend had robbed Greenfield.
" 'Then what we do is drug these guys and then when they are unconscious we rob them,' ” Judd said, describing the phone call to the reporter.
Judd said the caller told Parody that after robbing Greenfield he came back with blood on his hands.
"The information she gave to the Ledger reporter clearly told us that no one but the murderer and our homicide detectives knew,” Judd said.
Detectives said they concluded the phone call to Parody was from a cell phone purchased by Collins, who they think was trying to plant a false story with a reporter in an attempt to confuse investigators.
Judd said detectives learned Collins and Greenfield had been having an affair and that they had known each other for decades. Collins told detectives they had broken up in May.
According to a toxicology report, Greenfield had high levels of the sedative Ambien in his bloodstream, which would have incapacitated him. The medical examiner ruled the cause and manner of death as homicide by unspecified means. Greenfield's cause of death has still not been determined.
Detectives said Collins had been prescribed the medication on May 1 and again on June 16. They said they had no evidence to indicate Greenfield had been prescribed the drug or was taking it prior to his death.
On the day Greenfield's body was discovered, detectives said Collins told them Greenfield was a truck driver and that she had not seen him in three to four weeks and that he had driven to California.
However, Greenfield's employer said he had turned in his semi on May 29, saying Greenfield told them he was receiving an inheritance and that he was retiring.
Greenfield had deposited more than $30,000 into an account, with Collins listed as a joint account holder.
Detectives say they suspect Greenfield was killed around June 16, based on cell phone records, and they say Collins was seen on surveillance video using Greenfield's personal credit card to make purchases.
"They unraveled her story," Judd said. "They put a beautiful set of circumstances together that will lead everyone to only one conclusion: that Victoria killed a boyfriend that dated back to the age of when she was 16."