Denise Bozarth of Key Largo, Florida was arrested after Edward Bozarth, her late husband, was determined to have been murdered in 2007, sources indicate. Denize Bozarth was arrested on Thursday, March 15 on charges of first-degree murder. Bozarth, 39, was apprehended in the Florida Panhandle, where she was living with her parents, but will soon be returned to Southern Florida to face the charges before a grand jury.
Investigators say that Denise confessed to the murder during questioning. If pronounced guilty as charged, she could face the death penalty. It is not clear whether she is eligible to receive bail bond or whether she has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
According to the police report, Bozarth had moved back to Defunjak Springs, where her parents live, a short time before her husband’s body was found five years ago. Denise had apparently informed Edward Bozarth in Junethat she wanted to separate from him prior to the murder, and her parents picked up her children from Screw U 2, the 36-cabin boat where the couple was living in Key Largo. A week later, Denize Bozarth left to join her children and parents in Defunjak Springs.
Edward Bozarth’s body was found in July of 2007 aboard Screw U 2, stuffed into the starboard engine compartment. Authorities had gone to investigate after a worker on a nearby boat complained of an intense odor coming from the cruiser. The 62-year-old’s body was reportedly wrapped in a canvas sail storage bag, with a towel around his head. His head showed evidence of a beating, and it was eventually determined that the cause of death was traumatic head injury. The ship’s air conditioning had been set at 60 degrees. Investigators believe he had been dead for at least a week before his body was discovered.
Prosecutors were able to build a case against Denise Bozarth due to the testimony of several informants who told authorities that Denise wanted to kill her husband in order to obtain a $650,000 inheritance he had received from his mother. Several witnesses told authorities that Bozarth had said that she would receive the inheritance if he were to die. Investigators confirmed that this was indeed the case, and it appears that Denise did indeed receive the inheritance after her husband’s murder.
Bonnie Colon, who had been living with the family during the summer of 2007, told detectives that Denise had mused over different ways to kill her husband every day and mentioned the inheritance to her several times. One of the scenarios that Bozarth had shared with Colon involved hitting her husband over the head and shoving his body overboard into the ocean; another involved killing him in his sleep, wrapping his dead body in plastic and leaving it on the boat. Parts of both of these scenarios were carried out in the 2007 murder. Another witness told authorities that he had been sleeping with Denise and that she offered him a $10,000 reward if he killed Edward Bozarth. He told police that he had declined the offer.
Denise herself reportedly failed a polygraph test and reported inconsistencies when interviewed about what happened on the day of her husband’s murder.