Date: January 4, 2000 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Sterling Ivey, 863 534-6377 or 819-0221 pager
Sheriff's Office Conducting a Death Investigation in Willow Oak

The Polk County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating what appears to be a murder/suicide that occurred at 4110 Willow Oak Road in Willow Oak. The deceased victims in the case are Steve Buckner, 4110 Willow Oak Road, DOB 11/17/54 and Cathy Buckner, 4110 Willow Oak Road, DOB 12/28/55.

The couple, married for approximately 20 years, recently separated around Thanksgiving and were in the process of getting a divorce. Cathy was residing at 4110 Willow Oak Road, while Steve was living with a sister.

At approximately 4 o'clock this morning (Tuesday, January 4, 2000), the Sheriff's Office received a call from a neighbor. The unidentified reportee advised that a disturbance was occurring at 4110 Willow Oak Road. According to the caller, the husband was at the home and the wife was screaming. When the Deputy Sheriff arrived on scene, the residence was secure and calls to the house went unanswered. The Deputy Sheriff cleared the scene after checking over the residence. Again, at approximately 9:30 this morning, deputies were dispatched to 4110 Willow Oak Road when Steve Buckner's sister called reporting that Steve Buckner failed to return home and Cathy had failed to report to work. Deputies subsequently gained entry shortly after arriving on scene and found both Steve and Cathy to be deceased in the upstairs master bedroom.

At this time, the apparent murder/suicide investigation continues.

BACKGROUND: Steve Buckner was arrested on November 22, 1999 by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and charged with battery (domestic violence). In this incident Cathy and Steve became involved in a verbal dispute about the pending divorce. When Cathy attempted to leave, Steve allegedly grabbed her hand which was holding car keys and bent her fingers back. The case was subsequently no-billed by the State Attorney's Office after Cathy forwarded a waiver of prosecution through her attorney to the State Attorney's Office.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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