Ex-Florida Gators star Tony Joiner charged with 26-year-old wife's murder three years after suspicious death
Joiner's wife, Heyzel Obando, 26, was found dead in Fort Myers on Valentine’s Day in 2016 and the death was ruled a homicide
33-year-old Tony Joiner, who used to be a Florida Gators football star, has been reportedly arrested and charged with murdering his wife three years after she was found dead in her Florida apartment.
Joiner's wife, Heyzel Obando, 26, was found dead in Fort Myers on Valentine’s Day in 2016.
At the time, police officers believed Obando's death to be suspicious and ruled it a homicide two months after her body was found.
However, Fox News reports that it wasn't until Saturday, June 8, that an arrest finally was made.
It is still not clear as to why police officials decided to charge Joiner three years later.
According to court records, Joiner was arrested twice for beating Obando while they were married, the Fort Myers News-Press reported. Obando's mother, Isabel Martinez, was torn with emotion over not only the allegations but also the arrest of her daughter's husband.
"As a mother, I understand the pain his mother is going through," Martinez said, "But, as a mother, no one is going to take my pain away. Now that he is arrested, I hope he feels the weight of the law."
Fort Myers police had met with Martinez on Friday, June 7, to inform her of the arrest warrant they had out for Joiner.
Obando's daughters, who are now aged three and six, will be taken care of by their grandmother Martinez who was granted permanent guardianship of her grandchildren in 2017, as per police officials. "They are getting big," Martinez said. "They are going to school."
Joiner played safety for the Gators from 2004-2007, serving as team captain during his senior season under coach Urban Meyer. He won a national championship with the 2006 Gators squad.
Before her death, Obando was set to begin work at a tax-prep company in Fort Myers, a social media post from 2016 revealed.
Joiner was charged with second-degree murder and is being held in the Polk County Jail on Saturday afternoon.
He ultimately will be transferred to the Lee County Jail, officials confirmed.