ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Two sisters have been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the 2015 death of their father.

  • Sisters accused of killing their 85-year-old dad
  • The women said their dad was very ill; they wanted to "euthanize him"
  • Both are charged with first-degree murder

Linda Roberts, 57, and Mary-Beth Tomaselli, 59, are in custody, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced Tuesday. They're both charged with first-degree murder.

The victim, according to Gualtieri, was Anthony Tomaselli, 85.

Tomaselli died at his home in Palm Harbor, and his daughters said at the time that it was of natural causes, the sheriff said.

"This is in some respects, as we call these things, the perfect murder, because there was absolutely no sign of struggle, no sign of foul play. He had cancer, he had dementia, he was seriously ill," Gualtieri said.

No criminal activity was suspected at that time, and the case was closed. But more than four years later, investigators day the women confessed to the crime.

"They gave him the sleeping pills with the alcohol thinking, hoping that was their plan to kill him that way. When that didn’t work they tried to suffocate him with a pillow. When that didn’t work so they stuck a rag down his throat and pinched his nose, and held his arms until he stopped breathing," Gualtieri described.        

The Sheriff added the sisters' dad did not want to go to an assisted living facility. They told detectives they knew their dad would die soon, so they "euthanized him."