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Patty Michelle WHITE





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 2, 2011
Date of arrest: 2 days after
Date of birth: 1972
Victim profile: Michele O'Dowd, 67
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty. Sentenced to 45 years in prison on October 14, 2013
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Woman sentenced for killing former roommate

October 15, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A woman who tried to cover up her tracks with Christmas presents is going to prison for killing her former roommate.

On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Patty Michelle White, 41, to 45 years in prison. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing Michelle O'Dowd in December 2011. Police said White drove from South Carolina to where she used to live with O'Dowd.

Authorities said White beat and strangled O'Dowd. White made it look like a burglar ransacked the home by knocking items over and tossing Christmas presents around. Authorities said White also took the victim's credit cards and stole money from her accounts.


Patty Michelle White accused of killing elderly Florida woman, hiding body under Christmas presents

By Meg Kinnard and Suzette Laboy Associated Press

December 6, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, Fla - A 67-year-old Florida woman was found beaten, strangled and hidden beneath the Christmas presents in her home, and authorities have charged a younger woman who had been befriended by the victim.

Patty Michelle White, 40, of South Carolina, was jailed on on fugitive charges and expected to be extradited Tuesday to Florida to face murder charges, authorities said.

The body of Michele O'Dowd of Florida was discovered Friday by her twin brother, Phil Axt, who had gone to check on her at her home in a gated community after O'Dowd failed to show up for work.

The door was open and O'Dowd's house had been ransacked, Axt said. Chairs and tables were turned upside down. Her car and dog were still at home.

"I knew this wasn't going to pretty," he said.

A foot was sticking out of a big pile of Christmas gifts, Axt said. Buried under the gifts was his sister's cold body, her bloody face covered with a towel.

Police said White was an ex-girlfriend of the victim's nephew, and was considered a family friend. They said White had returned to Florida to rob O'Dowd after staying with relatives in South Carolina.

"Whatever took place in that apartment went horribly wrong and she ended up beating and killing her," according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. White then returned to South Carolina, where she confessed to authorities after she was pulled over and arrested Saturday.

Axt said his aunt treated White as part of the family, giving her odd jobs to earn extra money even though "she just couldn't keep a job, couldn't get her life together."

O'Dowd allowed White to stay at her home for a month for free, trusting her with her PIN number to her debit card so White could purchase groceries for the two of them.

White later used that debit card to withdraw $1,000 at two bank ATMs in Florida, authorities said.

Authorities took some clothes from White's family's home in South Carolina to be examined and turned over to Florida police. A car in which White and her mother were traveling when White was arrested was also examined but later released to the family, police said.

Aunt Miki, as O'Dowd was known to friends and family, was "the most sweetest, kindest person who would never hurt a fly," Axt said.

He also said his sister's neighbors heard screams.

"So many people in the community said they heard someone screaming and wailing, and no one called the police," he said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office declined further comment pending the investigation. There was no answer Tuesday at a phone listing for White's family in South Carolina.


Twin of slain Jacksonville woman says he found her beneath Christmas gifts

Woman whom police, victim's brother describe as family friend is now charged with murder

By Dana Treen -

December 6, 2011

The third time Phil Axt went through his twin sister’s den he spotted her foot.

The rest of her body was “buried completely with the kids’ Christmas presents,” he said.

Beneath the pile of gifts meant for nephews, nieces and grandchildren, Michele O’Dowd was dead, her bloodied face covered with a terry cloth towel.

The house was a shambles.

Axt made the discovery Friday morning after O’Dowd didn’t show up for work at his business. A family member talked to her the evening before, he said, but learned only later that the 67-year-old woman who lived alone was not by herself. Someone they considered a family friend also was at the condo in a gated Southside neighborhood.

That friend, Patty Michelle White, 37, had been a nephew’s live-in girlfriend in South Carolina, Axt said Monday. Now, she is charged with O’Dowd’s death.

“I grabbed her ankle and it was cold,” Axt recalled. He was alone, he said, when he discovered the woman who everyone knew as “Miki O” and he calls his “baby twin sister.”

Presents were piled on top of O’Dowd and an empty vodka bottle was nearby. He thinks the bottle was a prop posed by the killer. Police have not discussed evidence in the case.

The family has been told O’Dowd died of blunt-force trauma and strangulation.

White was charged with murder after she was tracked to South Carolina, where police said she had been living in York for the past few months. Investigators said White returned to Jacksonville to rob the older woman.

Police have not reported if White has been extradited to Jacksonville.

Axt said his family has known White for four or five years, and that she and his nephew had broken up.

“She moved to Orlando for a while,” Axt said. But she also stayed with O’Dowd for a month or so recently and occasionally made overnight visits.

To help White earn money, Axt and his sister would pay her to clean houses or do other jobs. She sometimes baby-sat his grandchildren, he said.

“She was part of the family,” he said.

O’Dowd would send White to the store for groceries and other items and give her the PIN numbers for her debit and credit cards, Axt said.

His sister, he said, “was just one of those sweet, sweet, sweet ladies.”

White also knew the entry codes to Grand Reserve, the gated community on Sutton Park Drive.

On Friday, a debit card stolen from O’Dowd was used at two bank ATMs, police said. White was identified on the surveillance photos. Axt said $500 was stolen each time.

He said the withdrawals were made in Jacksonville on a route leading to the highway and South Carolina.

A police canvass of 10 homes around O’Dowd’s found only one person home, and they didn’t hear anything, a police report said.

“This was her favorite time of the year,” Axt said of his sister. She even took care of decorating his business for the holidays, he said.

“How can you be so sick,” he asked, “to bury the victim with children’s gifts?”


Cops: York woman killed roommate in Florida, left body under Christmas presents

By Chris Dyches -

December 5, 2011

YORK, SC (WBTV) - A York County woman reportedly confessed to murdering a 67-year-old woman in Florida and leaving her body under a pile of Christmas presents.

According to York Police Chief Andy Robinson, officers were called by police in Jacksonville, Florida saying 40-year-old Patty White, of Wilson Avenue, was suspected in murdering a woman.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says 67-year-old Michele O'Dowd's body was found inside her home on Friday morning around 9:10 a.m. Investigators say O'Dowd's twin brother discovered his sister's body in bed with a pile of Christmas presents placed on top of her.

"There is nothing worse than when you walk inside and find your own sister brutally murdered over a stupid debit card," her brother told WTEV-News, a CBS affiliate in Jacksonville.

The Sheriff's office says O'Dowd was found beaten and strangled, her apartment was ransacked. O'Dowd's debit card was missing and the sheriff's office says it was used shortly after her death at two ATM machines near her home. Officers were able to get a picture from the ATM's camera.

They say White, a former roommate and family friend of O'Dowd, attempted to disguise herself from the camera, but was recognized by family members.

Police say White was a family friend of O'Dowd and stayed with her when she fell on hard times. They say something happened between the friends and White returned to South Carolina.

Jacksonville Police say White returned to rob the victim.

"Whatever took place inside that apartment went horribly wrong and [White] wound up beating and killing [O'Dowd]," Jacksonville police said during a press conference over the weekend.

Investigators say after the murder, White drove to her parents house in York.

According to York Chief Andy Robinson, York Police officers pulled over a car that White was riding in on Saturday afternoon around 3:40 p.m. According to the police report, White's mother was driving her when deputies stopped them on East Liberty Street near College Street.

"From the time we were notified, the ball rolled pretty quickly," Lieutenant Rich Caddell said. "Our concern was [even though] the crime wasn't committed in the city, someone capable of committing that crime was here. We want to secure the person in order to protect the residents."

White agreed to come to the police station to speak with Jacksonville detectives, Chief Robinson told WBTV.

Chief Robinson said during the interview with detectives White confessed to the murder of O'Dowd.

A Fugitive from Justice warrant was obtained by York Police and White is being held at the York County Detention Center to await extradition back to Florida.

Chief Robinson told WBTV that White is not fighting extradition and is expected to return to Florida on Tuesday or Wednesday to face murder charges.


Southside Murder Suspect Arrested in South Carolina

By Anne Roy -

December 5, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The woman accused of killing a local woman in her home Friday used the victim's debit card shortly after the murder, helping police track her down quickly even though she was out of state by the time of her arrest.

According to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Lt. Rob Schoonover in a Sunday news conference, 40-year-old Patty Michelle White had spent some time living with Michele O'Dowd, 67, in her home on Sutton Park Drive North, until they reached a point where the "relationship wasn't good" and White left.

Friday, a relative of O'Dowd found O'Dowd dead in her home, and the medical examiner determined she had been beaten and strangled.

Also, Schoonover said, her home had been ransacked and her debit card was stolen.

After tracking usage of the car, detectives identified two nearby ATMs that had been used, and surveillance video captured images of the suspect.

Family members of O'Dowd helped police identify White as the suspect. Schoonover said it was family members who had arranged for White to live with O'Dowd.

Schoonover said detectives have identified the motive behind the crime as robbery, but something "went horribly wrong."

White was found in South Carolina, and when JSO detectives went to meet with her, she confessed, according to Schoonover.

She will be extradited to Florida to face a murder charge.



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