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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 3/30/2011 

 Davenport Man Arrested In Girlfriend's Homicide 


27-year-old Tara Romonoski murdered by her boyfriend, 32-year-old Donald Failey, Jr.

Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to 235 Jeremy Drive, in the Emerald Lakes MHP, Davenport, at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, after receiving a call from Tammy Romonoski of New Hampshire, asking deputies to check on the well-being of her sister, 27-year-old Tara Romonoski (DOB 10/10/83) at the Jeremy Drive address. Tammy had not heard from her sister, with whom she usually talked to by phone frequently, since about Tuesday, March 22nd. 

When deputies arrived at the address, they were told by management at the park that Tara's boyfriend, 32-year-old Donald Failey, Jr. (DOB 09/08/78) had just left the residence prior to their arrival.  Failey and Romonoski lived together at the residence.  Deputies began searching the area for the described 2008 Ford Focus with New Hampshire plates, which belonged to Romonoski.  Failey was not found.  When deputies entered the residence they found Tara Romonoski deceased in a bedroom.  She was covered with a blanket and had been tied up with duct tape and electrical cords.  The door to the bedroom and bedroom window had been taped shut.  Medical Examiner's staff estimates the Ms. Romonoski had been deceased for approximately one week.  An investigative autopsy was conducted on Wednesday, March 30, 2011. 

Last Friday, March 25, 2011, Tara's mother received a telephone call from Tara's boyfriend, Donald Failey, Jr. informing her that Tara was in the hospital because she had a "mental breakdown."  Failey also told Tara's sister and other acquaintances the same thing.  On Monday, March 28, 2011, Tami Romonoski talked with Donald Failey, who told her he was picking up Tara from "the hospital" on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. When Tami didn't hear back from Tara or Donald by late in the afternoon on Tuesday, she called the PCSO. 

Detectives have confirmed that Tara had never gone to any local hospital last week. 

Detectives sent out a state wide BOLO (be on the look-out) for the 2008 Focus with New Hampshire plates, which belonged to Tara Romonosky.  At approximately 3:15 a.m. this morning (March 30, 2011), Clewiston Police located the Focus in a Clewiston Wal-Mart with Failey inside the car sleeping.  Police took him into custody and Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives traveled to Clewiston to interview Failey.  Failey confessed to detectives that he strangled and killed Tara Romonoski and provided specific details of the crime.  Failey has been charged with First Degree Murder by PCSO detectives. 

Detectives found Failey's Facebook page where he posted, verbatim, the following on Monday, March 28, 2011:  "I am a piece of garbage I am a punk I hit defensless [sic] woman but won't confront a man. I am an addict and a loser."

Sheriff Grady Judd:  "In addition to being a punk, a coward, and a loser, Donald Failey, Jr. is a cold blooded killer.  He is being brought to justice for his horrific crime." 

Donald Failey, Jr.'s arrest record includes:  Burglary, Receiving Stolen Property, Theft (multiple counts), and Criminal Trespass, Shoplifting (1997, New Hampshire); Burglary (1999, New Hampshire); Theft, (New Hampshire, 2007); Violation of Probation (New Hampshire, 2008 - served time in state prison).