South Florida woman sentenced for dumping body after friend overdosed

Caileigh Stoops lied to woman's fiancé, claimed she was afraid to tell police

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor

Caileigh Stoops was sentenced to 364 days in jail for dumping the body of her friend, Kelly Ann DiPietro, at Barton Memorial Park in Boynton Beach.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A South Florida woman was sentenced Friday to 364 days in jail after pleading guilty to dumping the body of a friend who died of a drug overdose at a Boynton Beach park.

Caileigh Stoops, 23, pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of unlawfully disposing of a body after Kelly Ann DiPietro, 30, was found dead Dec. 21, 2017, in some bushes at Barton Memorial Park.

According to a Boynton Beach police report, Mark Bavosa told police he believed the decomposing body found at the park may be his fiancée. He positively identified her by her tattoos.

Bavosa told police DiPietro was in treatment for heroin addiction and had relapsed with Stoops eight days earlier. Bavosa said he spoke with DiPietro two days later and was told she was with Stoops and her boyfriend getting "high." That was the last time he heard from her.

After Bavosa reported DiPietro missing, Stoops told him she had information on DiPietro's whereabouts and would tell him for $50. She claimed DiPietro was "tricking herself out" and was last seen leaving with a "Spanish-looking guy in a black truck."

It turned out to be a lie.

When detectives interviewed Stoops at her Fort Lauderdale halfway house, she admitted to overdosing with DiPietro at her father's house in Boynton Beach.

Stoops said when she woke up, DiPietro was still unconscious, so she did everything she could "without calling the cops." She put ice in DiPietro's pants, poured buckets of water on her and had her boyfriend try so hard to resuscitate her that "they thought he broke her chest."

"They couldn't wake her so decided to just go to sleep and hoped that she would be fine in the morning," the police report said.

But she wasn't fine. She was dead.

Stoops, scared to call the police in fear that they would pin DiPietro's death on her, said she and her boyfriend wrapped the body in a bed sheet and put it in the trunk of Stoops' Toyota Solara. She and Durkin then drove to the park and pushed the body into the bushes.

"Caileigh is a chronic heroin addict," Dr. Michael J. DiTomasso, hired by the defense to evaluate Stoops, wrote in his report. "She has sacrificed her safety, her happiness, her education, her well-being, her piece of mind -- for heroin. She has lost her mother to heroin. She has lost friends to heroin. Her boyfriend is addicted to heroin. She has sold her body for heroin. Caileigh also suffers from chronic long-term depression."

Douglas Rudman, who represented Stoops, asked the judge for leniency and court-ordered treatment.

Copyright 2018 by WPLG - All rights reserved.