Wesley Chapel, Florida -- Pasco County investigators say they're still looking for A Wesley Chapel woman who hasn't been seen for more than three weeks now, but they concede hope is fading.
On Sunday the SWAT team stormed the missing woman's house on Ravens Brook Road. 49-year-old Linda Losacano was not there, but her live-in boyfriend and the father of the couple's child was, and police say he committed suicide.
For now, investigators say they're still treating this as a missing persons' case. But they concede it's hard to explain why a mother would be away from her 5-year-old daughter for more than three weeks, and why her boyfriend would keep making up excuses.
"We don't have any reason to believe she's injured at this point," said Pasco County Sheriff's Office spokesman Doug Tobin.
Despite their outward optimism, crime scene investigators spent several hours scouring the home, the backyard shed, and the property surrounding Linda Losacano's house in Wesley Chapel. They occasionally used a shovel to dig up parts of the yard.
"They're looking both on the outside on the grounds and also on the inside as much as they can to see if they have any evidence to suggest that foul play occurred," said Tobin.
Pasco County's SWAT officers forced their way into the house Sunday night, after deputies were locked out by Losacano's boyfriend, 48-year-old Timothy Arnold. As they entered the home, lawmen say a muffled gunshot rang out.
Stunned neighbors watched as the couple's 5-year-old daughter Kaylee emerged from the home unharmed, but made an ominous gesture when asked about her mommy.
"She ran to her aunt and the policeman asked her mother was and she just pointed to the sky," said neighbor Bob Lupo.
Inside the home, detectives found Arnold dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. But Losacano, last heard from more than three weeks ago now, was still nowhere to be found.
"I just figured he was telling me the truth that she wasn't feeling well," said neighbor Alison Stockfield, one of the last people to see Losacano.
Stockfield says for the past couple of weeks, Arnold always had an excuse why Linda couldn't be reached. She was sick. She's forgotten her cell phone. She was out of town visiting relatives.
That is, until this past weekend when Losacano's sister, the relative Linda was supposed to be visiting in New Hampshire, came knocking on Alison's door.
"I said, 'I thought she was with you!' So I didn't know there was anything wrong until yesterday when she showed up at my door,'" said Stockfield.
"We are hoping we find information that will lead to her being alive, but as more time goes by, that certainly becomes less and less a possibility," said Tobin.
Pasco detectives say there were no prior domestic disturbance calls at the couple's address.
Kaylee, they say, is staying with Linda's sister for now.
Since the case is still being treated as a missing and endangered person, anyone with information about Linda Losacano is asked to contact the Pasco County Sheriff's office at (727) 844-7711, or (727) 844-7781.
10 News interviewed Losacano several years ago when she served as a certified sign language interpreter for a story we were working on. Watch our 2006 story by click on the video below: