PUNTA GORDA — Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron this morning announced the arrest of one suspect in the 2001 murder of 19-year-old Tara Danielle Sidarovich. Tara disappeared from her Westwood Avenue home in Punta Gorda on Oct. 1, 2001. Tara’s skeletal remains were found on July 12, 2002 in a wooded area east of Burnt Store Road in Charlotte County. An autopsy determined Tara was the victim of homicide. The State Attorney’s Office in the 20th Judicial Circuit reviewed new evidence and testimony developed by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Cold Case Unit, as well as existing evidence and testimony gathered by previous investigators. Arrest warrants for first-degree murder were issued for Phillip Gavin Barr, 43, and 39-year-old David Ray McMannis. McMannis was arrested in Cumberland, Md., by members of the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigative Unit on Friday. McMannis was closely monitored and then apprehended after the warrants were issued. McMannis awaits extradition to Charlotte County pending any necessary hearings in Maryland. Barr has not been arrested as of yet, and a nationwide search is under way.
Detective Mike Gandy, cold case supervisor, said that since the beginning of the investigation in 2001 thousands of hours were spent by dozens of investigators interviewing potential witnesses and examining evidence and leads. “Throughout the years, many talented investigators have worked on this case,” he said. “Information they discovered, along with the new developments by our cold case team, finally made this case. We were delighted to share this news with Tara’s mother, Sharon, and hope it will help Sharon and Tara’s other family members and friends rest a bit easier.”
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