South Florida man accused of killing girlfriend, claiming she committed suicide

Sean Booth Chidester, 39, has been charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Daniela Blackburn, 38. (Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

MARATHON, Fla. – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 39-year-old man who they said fatally shot his girlfriend and then told authorities that she had taken her own life.

Sean Booth Chidester, of Marathon, was arrested Saturday on a murder charge.

“Thankfully, there are few murders in the Florida Keys, but when they do occur the Sheriff’s Office will always work aggressively and vigilantly to resolve them as quickly as possible,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “I want to thank my staff, the State Attorney’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Office for their diligent work in resolving this sad case.”

According to Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, deputies were called to a home in the 1000 block of Sylvia Avenue in Marathon on July 14 regarding an alleged suicide.

Linhardt said Chidester’s girlfriend, Daniela Blackburn, 38, was found dead inside of the home. She had been shot in the head with a handgun.

According to authorities, Chidester told deputies that Blackburn shot herself while he was in another room.

The 9 mm handgun used in the shooting was found inside the home, Linhardt said.

He said the medical examiner later determined that the wound was not consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Blackburn also did not have a history of mental illness or suicidal tendencies, detectives said.

A motive for the killing remains unclear.

Chidester is being held in jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for