Jacksonville woman charged with murder after police discover body of her 76-year-old mother, JSO says

Police say decomposed body was found inside Westside home

A woman was arrested this week on a charge of murder after officers discovered her mother’s body inside a home on the Westside, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman was arrested this week on a charge of murder after officers discovered her mother’s body inside a home on the Westside, authorities said.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, officers were dispatched Monday to a home on Tortosa Court after receiving a report of someone threatening suicide.

An arrest report shows witnesses told police that they arrived to evict the tenants. Tammy Spruell, the tenant’s daughter, told witnesses that “her life no longer has any value,” and witnesses noticed a firearm in Spruell’s car before she drove off, according to the report.

When officers arrived at the home for a welfare check after Spruell left, they found a 76-year-old woman’s body, which was “in an advanced stage of decomposition,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Court records show Spruell, 51, is the daughter of the woman whose body was found inside the house in the Shindler Crossing neighborhood.

According to the arrest report, a witness told JSO that he was called to the house by Spruell in March about a mildew smell. When he entered the house, he noticed the master bedroom door was closed, and Spruell told him that “my mother is sleeping, and we do not disturb her,” the report states.

JSO got a warrant to search the home on Monday and noticed all the carpet had been removed except in the master bedroom. On the frame of the master bedroom, police said, they discovered what appeared to be blood spatter on the frame and door. Officers said they also found a trail of blood from the master bedroom door to the master bathroom, where the body was located.

Later that day, police said, Spruell was pulled over on a traffic stop on Shindler Drive.

The arrest report shows Spruell was taken to JSO to be questioned. What she said during the interview was redacted from the report. But the report indicates Spruell confessed.

Spruell was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the death, police said. She was booked early Tuesday morning into the Duval County jail, she was being held without bond as of Thursday, according to jail records.

Neighbors like Kristopher Fleming told News4JAX on Thursday that they saw police outside the home on Tortosa Court for days.

“All we saw was the police and red tape,” Fleming said. “They didn’t really let us know what happened — they just said it was a homicide.”

It’s unclear when the 76-year-old was killed and how she died.

Some neighbors told News4JAX that they had no idea a 76-year-old woman was living inside the home. Others said they would see Spruell outside on occasion.

“We didn’t really talk to her much, but we played football in her yard and she gave us waters,” Fleming said.

Spruell is set to be back in court on Aug. 31.

Editor’s note: JSO said in a news release Wednesday evening that the deceased woman was 74 years old, but the JSO transparency website shows she was 76 years old.

About the Authors:

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.