46-year-old Sarasota man charged with murder after Dec. 12 incident at Cabana Inn in Sarasota

Detectives suspect Elon Dula shot a 34-year-old female and then tried to commit suicide by taking drugs

A 46-year-old Sarasota man has been charged with murder following an incident at the Cabana Inn on U.S. 41 in Sarasota, the Sarasota Police Department reported on Dec. 13.

Elon Dombarlow Nickelizus Dula, of 2525 S. Tamiami Trail, Unit No. 132, has been identified as the alleged assailant in an incident that occurred just before 5 p.m. on Dec. 12, his Probable Cause Affidavit says.

(The Cabana Inn is located at 2525 S. Tamiami Trail. It is located south of Hibiscus Street and east of the Boyce Street intersection with U.S. 41, a map shows.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was a 34-year-old female, the affidavit adds.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office’s Corrections Division records said Dula was being held without bond, with his arraignment set for Jan. 27, 2023. He was listed as unemployed on the Corrections Division form.

Officers were dispatched to the Cabana Inn on Dec. 12 in response to a call for a welfare check, a Police Department news release said. Before they arrived, the affidavit points out, they were notified that a Sarasota County EMS unit already was on the scene.

Both Dula and the female were unconscious, the affidavit adds, with Dula gasping for breath. The affidavit notes that the EMS personnel considered the potential that both persons had suffered drug overdoses.

The female was pronounced dead at approximately 4:58 p.m. on Dec. 12, the affidavit continues. The EMS personnel indicated that she had “suffered from head trauma and was unable to be resuscitated,” the affidavit adds.

She “was found lying on the living room in a pool of blood,” the affidavit points out. “It appeared that [she] had two bullet wounds in her head,” the document says. After executing a search warrant, Police Department personnel found four 9mm shell casings and two 9mm live rounds in the unit, the affidavit adds, along with narcotics.

EMS personnel used Narcan to resuscitate Dula, the affidavit says; then, he was transported to Sarasota Memorial.

The unit the couple were in “was in complete disarray,” the affidavit points out, with a sink having been shattered. The affidavit adds, “[I]t was apparent that a struggle had ensued.”

“Detectives believe that a violent encounter occurred,” the affidavit explains, with Dula having shot and killed the victim and then having attempted to commit suicide by ingesting narcotics.

The property manager for the Cabana Inn told officers that she initially had been contacted by Dula’s brother, Fred, who was concerned because he had gone to the unit and had been unable to get anyone to come to the door, the affidavit explains.

“The property manager was able to get the only spare key” to the unit, the affidavit continues. After she unlocked and opened the door, the affidavit says, she saw Elon Dula “lying on the living room floor in distress” and called 911.

“The property manager later indicated that Unit #132 was normally immaculate and that she never previously observed a broken sink,” the affidavit adds.

She also told officers that Dula had been living in the unit “for a few weeks as the only tenant …” Therefore, only one key to the unit had been issued to him, the affidavit notes.

Dula’s mother, Carrie Dula, told the officers on the scene that she had last spoken with Elon about noon that day, the affidavit continues. He “made a statement to her that he ‘did not want to be here anymore,’ ” the affidavit says.

Concerned about that remark, Carrie Dula attempted to call him back, the affidavit notes, but he would not answer the phone. That was when she and her other son, Fred, decided to go to the Cabana Inn to check on Elon, the affidavit points out.

The door to Elon Dula’s unit had been locked from the inside, the affidavit says.

Anyone with information related to the investigation is being asked to call the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 941-263-6070, leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS, or going online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.