Mother, son found dead in apparent murder-suicide
By The Associated Press
Ocala Star-Banner, December 1, 2005

OCALA - A woman whose 12-year-old son died in 2000 after being pinned down by a youth camp counselor was found dead in her garage with her 7-year-old son in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities said.

Linda Ibarra, 36, was found late Tuesday lying outside the driver's side door of a sport utility vehicle. Her son Lorenzo was found dead in the passenger seat, Marion County Sheriff's investigators said.

The vehicle's engine was not running, but the ignition was on and the garage door was closed, a sheriff's spokesman said. Ibarra's 16-year-old son found the bodies and called the sheriff's office.

''All signs point to carbon-monoxide poisoning and murder-suicide,'' Capt. Denis Strow said.

An assistant medical examiner found no signs of trauma on the two bodies, but an autopsy still needs to be conducted, Strow said.

Ibarra's son, Michael Wiltsie, died on Feb. 5, 2000, after being pinned to the floor by a 300-pound counselor at Camp E-Kel-Etu, a wilderness camp in the Ocala National Forest for troubled youth.

A grand jury cleared the counselor of wrongdoing, saying he was following proper restraint procedures. An autopsy concluded the cause of death was ''compressional asphyxiation.''

A Florida Department of Juvenile Justice investigation later held counselor Joseph Cooley responsible, saying he used excessive force to restrain Wiltsie.

Linda Ibarra filed wrongful death lawsuits against Cooley and the camp owner in both state and federal court. The cases settled for an undisclosed amount in 2002, the Ocala Star-Banner reported.

Neighbor Jesse Heckman said Ibarra often talked about the ghost of her son helping her around the house.

''It seems she had never gotten over him,'' Heckman said.

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