NEW: Autopsy finds PBSO deputy was on Xanax at time of murder-suicide


Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Michael DeMarco was driven to attempted murder, and to suicide, despite being on an anti-anxiety drug, an autopsy shows.

On Oct. 12 , DeMarco gravely wounded his former girlfriend, Yuly Solano, then fatally shot himself, at the condominium complex they lived in along Federal Highway.

His autopsy, obtained Wednesday by The Palm Beach Post from the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner via a public-records request, said he had a concentration of 16.9 nanograms per milliliter of alprazolam, marketed as Xanax. The drug, which is not an opioid, is used to treat anxiety, insomnia and seizures, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

That concentration is a safe one, falling within the drug’s “therapeutic range” of 10 to 40, the autopsy said. The “range” refers to the concentration that would be present if a person took a prescribed amount.

Deputy who shot ex-girlfriend, killed self, got good evaluations

The autopsy report does not say if DeMarco was on a Xanax regimen or had a prescription. But a neighbor told The Post the day after the shooting that DeMarco had seemed to sink into depression after breaking up with Solano, and that a few days before the incident, the neighbor asked DeMarco to have a beer with him but that, “He said, ‘I can’t. I’m on some medication.’ ”

The autopsy said he had no other drugs or alcohol in his system. It also confirmed DeMarco shot himself once each in the head and chest. And it said he suffered from an enlarged heart and mild clogging of his arteries.

On Nov. 16, lawyers for Solano sued the Inlet Harbor Club Condominium Association and its property manager, Benchmark Property Management, as well as DeMarco’s estate, saying the entities didn’t do enough to protect her.

Daughter of Boynton woman shot by PBSO deputy breaks silence

The condo association responded in documents filed Dec. 20 that the woman knew DeMarco, who also lived in a separate condominium within the complex, was dangerous and didn’t do enough to stop him, including failing to complain formally to the association, the property manager, or law enforcement.

Solano’s lawyers have previously said she complained of harassment by DeMarco both to the condominium association and the management office. In a Nov. 8 hospital-bed conversation with detectives, Solano said she had planned to file formal complaints but “did not have a chance” to get to it before the shooting.

Police have said DeMarco drove up in his unmarked patrol car early that morning and confronted Solano as she walked her dog, Coco. Surveillance-camera video shows DeMarco pulling out his service weapon, a .40-caliber Glock handgun, and shooting her three times before slumping and placing the handgun to his head. He died where he fell.

Solano was taken to Delray Medical Center. Her current status is unknown. A spokesperson for her lawyers did not immediately respond to an inquiry.

911 audio: PBSO deputy shoots ex-girlfriend; fatally shoots himself.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Wellington renews farm’s $40,000-a-year lease on K-Park property
Wellington renews farm’s $40,000-a-year lease on K-Park property

Wellington will extend for another year a lease with a farmer for the village’s sprawling K-Park property. The $40,000-a-year contract was approved Tuesday by Wellington’s village council. It keeps J. Alderman Farms Inc. on the land through at least June 30, 2019. The farm’s use of K-Park has several benefits, village manager Paul...
NEW: PBSO seeks killer in West Palm man’s April 2016 slaying
NEW: PBSO seeks killer in West Palm man’s April 2016 slaying

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in tracking down the person who killed a suburban West Palm Beach man two years ago Thursday. Nikenson Valentin, 22, was shot to death April 25, 2016, in the 5600 block of Coconut Road, off Southern Boulevard near Palm Beach International Airport. The sheriff&rsquo...
Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw, musicians will raise funds for victims’ families 
Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw, musicians will raise funds for victims’ families 

Nashville's musical community is raising money to benefit the victims of a shooting at a Tennessee Waffle House with a special T-shirt honoring the man who stopped the gunman. James Shaw Jr., lauded as a hero during the shooting that left four dead and more injured early Sunday, met with country singer Brantley Gilbert and indie rocker Chris Carrabba...
The Loxahatchee Groves farm where horses help humans heal and learn
The Loxahatchee Groves farm where horses help humans heal and learn

Tucked away in this small town, down a narrow road and set away from the bustling coastal cities, is an oasis where humans and horses come to refresh. Dovecot Farm sits on just under 11 acres of farmland off F Road in Loxahatchee Groves. The property is the brainchild of life coach Sarah Palmer. In the peaceful surroundings of Dovecot, she has worked...
JUST IN: 13 migrants stopped in boat off Palm Beach County waters
JUST IN: 13 migrants stopped in boat off Palm Beach County waters

The United States Coast Guard detained 13 people last week in the waters off Palm Beach County as they allegedly tried to enter the U.S. illegally.  Five of those men face federal charges for either trying to return to the U.S. after previously being deported — one for a sex-related felony — or aiding others in their illegal...
More Stories