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Mother-Daughter Suicide Pact Leads to Dad’s Arrest

Quick-acting neighbors get the credit for foiling a suicide pact between a mother and daughter and leading Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies to arrest a man they say abused the mother.

A mother and her 12-year-old daughter are hospitalized while the child’s father faces aggravated battery and domestic violence charges after a May 25 fire led Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies to uncover a case of abuse that may have sparked a suicide pact.

The incident in the 6600 block of Timber Brook Court in the Citrus Park area began to unfold around 3 p.m. Saturday, May 25 when neighbors playing basketball outside their home noticed smoke coming from a nearby garage. As they ran over to the house, the garage door closed, said Debbie Carter, sheriff’s office spokeswoman, in an email to media.

The neighbors managed to get inside the garage and pulled Nancy Lowe, 52, and her 12-year-old daughter to safety. They also rescued two dogs from the house.

Lowe and her daughter were taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and burns, Carter said. While at the hospital, investigators discovered Lowe had been battered Thursday night by her ex-husband.

Deputies say James Clark, 45, went to Lowe’s home Thursday and hit her several times with his hands and a lamp.

After learning this, deputies obtained a search warrant and returned to Lowe’s home where they uncovered a suicide pact between the mother and her daughter, Carter said.

“Investigators located several suicide notes” inside the home, Carter said. “It was also learned that earlier in the day, the daughter had gone to a neighbor and borrowed gasoline.”

While the fire remains under investigation, Clark of Port Richey has been charged with aggravated battery and domestic violence. Lowe and her daughter remain in medical care, Carter said.

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Carole May 26, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Thank God for their quick thinking neighbors! Something is very wrong when they felt their only way out from abuse was suicide! Had they been to police about the abuse? Where were family and friends? This is very sad!
Nancy May 26, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Yes, it is very sad. Where was the moms family when she needed them to help her with long ongoing mental health issues? After repeated false statements to police, she has now tried to kill herself and her daughter. They arrested the wrong person.
Brenda Belanger May 26, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I cannot judge any of these people as I did not walk in any of their shoes (praise God). I pray both the mom and daughter will be physically okay so that they may mentally, emotionally and spiritualy heal as well.
MJ May 27, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Thank Judge Thomas for creating the means for this to happen. Forcing the daughter to live with her abusive father and ignoring the child's repeated cries not to be forced to live with him. The 'Justice' system failed these two females and it was a female judge who lead the assault and is a direct contributor to the injury to these to females. Shame on Judge Thomas.

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