- Eliot Kleinberg Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
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.
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.
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.
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.