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Digital Memorial Tamara Naish
On a warm September day in 2016, Thomas Elmore Jr. called 911 to say he'd found his girlfriend, Tamara Naish, dead on the bathroom floor of her Florida home.
The former paramedic told deputies that Naish, a 48-year-old nurse from Riverview, in the Tampa area, had committed suicide.
Now, nearly five years later, Elmore has been convicted of murdering her.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Thomas Elmore Jr.
On Thursday, a jury deliberated for eight hours over the course of two days before rendering a guilty verdict, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement.
They found him guilty of fatally shooting Naish and "attempting to cover up the crime by claiming she had killed herself," Warren said in the statement.
"This delivers justice for Tamara Naish and her family," Warren said in the statement. "As a nurse, she dedicated her career to helping others. Her life was taken so heartlessly, and now the man who did it—and lied about it—will pay for it."
Elmore will be sentenced at a later date.
According to prosecutors, Naish was found dead in her home on September 22, 2016.
"Elmore reported her death to law enforcement and deputies responded to the home," Warren said in the release.
But, based on the condition of her remains, she clearly had been dead for at least 36 hours, he said.
"Despite working as a paramedic and understanding the importance of promptly contacting law enforcement, Elmore initially claimed he had found his girlfriend dead on their bathroom floor and then waited 24 hours before contacting the sheriff's office because he was distraught," Warren said in the release.
Elmore insisted Naish died by suicide.
"However, when deputies arrived at the home, they found Naish had been shot not once, but twice," he said.
"She also had a bullet wound on her hand where she had held her hand up to protect her face," he said.
The gun had been placed in Naish's left hand, even though she was right-handed, according to investigators.
"The medical examiner determined it would have been impossible for her to have shot herself, based on the available evidence," Warren said.
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According to her obituary, Naish was a 1986 graduate of Berry High School and a 1993 graduate of UAB Nursing School where she received her BSRN degree.
She "modeled in high school and college, enjoyed camping, collecting, and socializing with friends," it says.
"She was a kind, sensitive, fun-loving soul who never met a stranger or recognized an enemy. Her smile and laugh could light a room.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations were asked to be made to a domestic violence center or charity of the well-wisher's choice.