A Safety Harbor man who is accused of strangling his ex-wife, then throwing her body off a cruise ship in Italy is now behind bars in the Pasco County Jail.
Pasco County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Lonnie Kocontes, 55, Friday evening on a murder arrest warrant issued in California, according to Pasco County Jail booking records.
Kocontes lives in the Safety Harbor gated community of Cypress Hollow. He is accused of murdering his ex-wife, Micki Kenesaki, 52, in May of 2006. The pair, who were divorced at the time and lived in California, went on a cruise together in Italy. Kocontes reported Kenesaki missing after he woke up and could not find her. Her body washed ashore the next day in southwest Italy, the Huffington Post reported.
Today, prosecutors said Kocontes strangled Kaneski on board the ship and then threw her overboard, according to the Huffington Post.
The FBI began the investigation in 2008 when Kocontes allegedly tried to transfer more than $1 million from Kaneski's bank accounts into joint accounts he had with his new wife, the Huffington Post reported.
Pinellas County property records show Kocontes owns the Safety Harbor home valued at $338,290 with his wife, Katherine Kern. The home was purchased for $607,000 in October of 2006.
WTSP reported Saturday that investigators used surveillance to locate Kocontes in Wesley Chapel, which might explain why Kocontes was arrested by Pasco County Sheriff's Deputies and booked into the Pasco County Jail.
The Huffington Post reported that Kocontes is an attorney, however an online search found that he is not a member of the Florida Bar.
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