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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Husband suspected in murder of Ocala business leader

Months after 59-year-old Timothy Floyd Smith was brutally murdered, his husband has been identified by detectives as the lead suspect, and an enhanced cash reward is being offered to encourage anyone with information regarding this homicide to come forward.

In a social media post on Tuesday, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office provided an update on the status of the investigation into Smith’s death. According to the sheriff’s office, Smith’s spouse, Herbert Swilley, is considered a suspect in the homicide case.

“Detectives spoke with Mr. Swilley at the earliest stages of the investigation and they have been trying to speak with him again, but his attorney has indicated that he will only cooperate if he is provided with immunity from prosecution for Timothy’s murder,” stated the sheriff’s office.

MCSO added that Swilley’s daughter, Jordan Swilley, is also considered a person of interest in this case. She gave a preliminary statement but has declined to further speak with detectives regarding the investigation.

On Saturday, March 25, at around 10:50 a.m., Smith’s deceased body was found inside a Citrus Park residence by MCSO deputies who were conducting a well-being check since he had failed to show up for work the previous day. The sheriff’s office stated that Smith appeared to have suffered a violent attack prior to his death.

Marion County sheriffs detectives investigating Citrus Park homicide
Timothy Floyd Smith, 59, was found deceased inside a residence in Citrus Park on March 25, 2023

An Executive Director at Brookdale Senior Living, Smith was a fixture in the Ocala business community. Whether it was through events he hosted for hundreds of people each year, including the popular Festival of Trees, or through appearances at networking events, Smith was well-known by many as a kind, sincere, and thoughtful man. His loss was felt heavily by those who knew him, including dozens of members of the Ocala Chamber and Economic Partnership who regularly interacted with him.

Tim Smith (top left) during Festival of Trees in December 2019
Timothy Smith (top left) during the Festival of Trees in December 2019

Since Smith’s spouse and daughter-in-law are unwilling to speak with detectives, the sheriff’s office is hoping that there are people in the community who may have information that could help solve this case. This could include information regarding Smith’s activities in the days and weeks leading up to his death, or information about his relationship with his spouse.

“If you know anything that might help investigators – even if it seems unimportant – please call us and let us know,” stated the sheriff’s office. “It may be the piece of the puzzle we need.”

If you have any information, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office asks that you call Detective Daniel Pinder (352-368-3508) or the Marion County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number (352-732-9111). To remain anonymous, call the Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP (7867) and reference 23-21 in your tip.

The Crime Stoppers of Marion County is offering a maximum reward of $3,000 for information about the murder of Timothy Floyd Smith. In addition, an enhanced reward of up to $6,500 is available through the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers, in partnership with the Florida Office of Attorney General.

The additional reward funds are available now through June 30, 2024. The anonymous tip must come through the Crime Stoppers program to be eligible for the additional funds.