Richard Patterson accused of asphyxiating girlfriend

Francisca Marquinez, 60, found dead inside Margate home

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MARGATE, Fla. - A Margate man was arrested Wednesday, a week after his girlfriend was found dead inside her home.

Richard Patterson, 63, faces a murder charge in the death of Francisca Marquinez, 60.

Police went to Marquinez's home Oct. 28 after receiving reports of a body inside the apartment in the 6700 block of Royal Palm Boulevard by an attorney hired by Patterson.

According to an arrest warrant, the attorney told policeĀ  that he could not identity his client at the time and said that detectives would have to make their own determination about whether foul play was involved.

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Investigators found Marquinez's body inside the home lying face down on a bed. A blood stain was also spotted on a door in the living room, which leads to the rear patio.

Detectives said they also found a bag in the kitchen that contained tissues and paper towels with blood and semen on it. They said one of her fingers had blood on it, and it appeared that someone had tried to clean it.

A neighbor told police that she had knocked on her friend's door and Patterson answered, claiming that Marquinez was sleeping.

Detectives said the victim had been dead for eight to 24 hours before officers arrived.

Police said they later determined that Patterson, who lived in the same complex as the victim, had asphyxiated his girlfriend.

According to the warrant, Patterson texted his daughter in the afternoon on Oct. 28 and said, "Your dad did something really bad last night and I'm so so sorry." His daughter told detectives that she had a brief telephone conversation with her father, at which time he told her that he, "couldn't go on" and said goodbye.

A text to a family friend read, "My meds are making me crazy and I can't function." The friend told detectives that Patterson later admitted to her that he had choked Marquinez to death.

Patterson was hospitalized under the Baker Act the next day.

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