Zephyrhills woman found dead in apartment, autistic houseguest missing

Tijauni Rhomane Stone, 26. Zephyrhills Police Dept. photo

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (WFLA) — A Zephyrhills woman was found dead inside her apartment and police are looking for an autistic man who was staying with her. Police say the autistic man is considered missing and endangered.

At about 2 p.m. on Monday, Zephyrhills police officers responded to a call about a suspicious incident at the Grand Reserve Apartments.

Police arrived at the apartment and discovered that management had entered the apartment to check on the well-being of the resident. Winnifred Francis-Ellis, 60, had missed church and other community functions that she normally attends.

Apartment managers told police they found the front door unlocked and Francis-Ellis deceased inside the apartment.

Police say a preliminary investigation suggested that foul play was involved, but the cause of Francis-Ellis’ death has not been determined.

The victim’s family told police that Tijauni Rhomane Stone, 26, was staying with Francis-Ellis’ while his mother is in London. Stone is said to be autistic with Down Syndrome and has the mental capacity of a 5 year old. Police said that he has a tendancy to be aggressive and violent.

Stone was not in the apartment when apartment managers or police arrived.

He is considered missing and endangered. Stone is described as 5′ 10″ tall and weighs 170 lbs. He was last seen at 10 p.m. on Dec. 25 at 38450 Valley Oaks Circle, Apt. 214, in Zephyrhills.

If you have information that can help detectives, call Sgt. Roberts or Detective Amin at the Zephyrhills Police Department at (813) 780-0050.

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