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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wilder, Scott

Director of Office of Communications 
News Date: 12/22/2014 

 Lakeland woman arrested in murder for hire plot 

Tanya Senay Demirhan of Lakeland was arrested and charged with Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder and Unlawful Use of a 2-way Communication Device by Polk County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday.  She had contacted an undercover detective to have her husband murdered. 

On Thursday, December 18, 2014, the Polk County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a person to report that he/she was solicited to participate in a conspiracy to commit the murder of Atilla Demirhan of Lakeland.  According to this source, Ms. Demirhan wanted her husband to go away and she wanted to hire someone to make it happen. 

Detectives provided the source with a telephone number to provide to Ms. Demirhan to contact if she wanted to talk with a “hitman,” an undercover sheriff’s detective.  On Friday, December 19, 2014, the source of information spoke with Ms. Demirhan over the phone and provided her with a telephone number to the undercover detective who would pose as a hitman.  Immediately following this phone call, Ms. Demirhan called the undercover detective to discuss the details of her husband's demise. The undercover detective told Demirhan he would prefer to discuss the details in person and Ms. Demirhan agreed.  Ms. Demirhan provided the undercover Detective with the time and location where they could meet. 

On Saturday, December 20, 2014 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Tanya Senay Demirhan met with an undercover Polk County Sheriff's Office detective at Banana Lake Park in Lakeland.  When the detective arrived at the park by car, he was immediately approached by Ms. Demirhan.  Ms. Demirhan entered the detective’s undercover vehicle and engaged in conversation where she intentionally and willfully solicited the undercover detective to murder her husband.  The meeting was video recorded. 

Ms. Demirhan agreed to pay the undercover detective $10,000 to kill her husband.  She told the deputy she did not have access to any cash; however, she did have four vehicles she could transfer titles to him as payment.  When asked, Ms. Demirhan stated she wanted it done very soon.  To confirm, the undercover detective asked Ms. Demirhan if she wanted him to kill him (her husband) and Ms. Demirhan affirmed.

Ms. Demirhan went home after the meeting.  At approximately 9:50 a.m. the undercover detective went to her home on Montserrat Drive in Lakeland to meet with Ms. Demirhan again.  At this meeting, she turned over the title to a 2012 Ford van as an initial payment for the agreement to have her husband killed.  Ms. Demirhan also signed a hand written note promising to pay the undercover detective $10,000 in cash or transfer of vehicle titles for his “service.”   

On Saturday, detectives made contact with Ms. Demirhan on a traffic stop just outside of her residence and informed her that there was an incident regarding her husband.  Ms. Demirhan agreed to go to the Southwest District Substation to discuss the incident.  Detectives told Ms. Demirhan that her husband had been murdered.  Ms. Demirhan responded with a dramatic and emotional display.  When Ms. Demirhan was confronted with the information that she had hired a hitman to kill her husband, she adamantly denied any involvement with the solicitation to murder her husband and denied knowing the undercover detective.  

Ms. Demirhan was subsequently arrested and transported to the Polk County Jail. 

Ms. Demirhan has two prior arrests in Polk County:

07/19/2000; Bartow Police Department; Petit Larceny

01/07/1998; Lakeland Police Department; Shoplifting