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Documents: Slain Tarpon doctor shot, stabbed

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Published:   |   Updated: July 18, 2014 at 09:27 AM

— A physician found dead in his Tarpon Springs home in May suffered stab and gunshot wounds, according to court records made public this week.

Police say Steven Schwartz, 74, who was found at the foot of a staircase near an entrance to his $1.6 million waterfront mansion, died of “laceration to the neck and head area and the manner of death was homicide.” The type of gun used in the attack was not disclosed.

The document also suggests a burglary may have occurred at the home at 1310 Belcher Drive the night of May 28, when Schwartz was killed. Schwartz’s wife, Rebecca Annette Schwartz, told law enforcement officials that night that she came home to discover the house in disarray; dresser drawers were open in the bedroom, and cash, jewelry and watches were missing. She told investigators she immediately came out of the home and called police.

A police dog later found the body of her husband.

The case quickly attracted media attention, but public details have been scant.

Although no weapons were found at the crime scene, Rebecca Schwartz told investigators a butcher knife was missing from the home. There also was damage to a door and its frame, near where Schwartz was found, as well as marks on weather stripping that coated the door.

Last week, investigators removed the door and its frame from the home for further investigation “to determine if the damage to the exterior door near the body is consistent or inconsistent with a burglary and to determine the type of tool that caused the damage,” Judge Chris Helinger wrote in a search warrant affidavit.

Removal of a door and its frame from a crime scene is rare, but investigators said they did so to “create multiple castings and to examine small microscopic marks under a three-dimensional stereoscope.”

Police have said the incident does not appear to have been random and they have told residents of the surrounding area not to worry about a repeat of it.

Those who knew Schwartz considered him to be well-regarded. A specialist in kidney disorders, he founded Main Street Medical at 1121 Overcash Drive in Dunedin, where he was still working at the time of his death.

Schwartz’s family is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of his killer. Previously, Crime Stoppers offered a $1,000 reward for such information.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Tarpon Springs detective John Diebel at (727) 938-2849 or by email at jdiebel@tspd.us.

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