Detectives seeking answers 13 years after cold case murder of Fort Myers woman

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Danielle Blackburn. Credit: Fort Myers Police Department

A father is desperate for closure 13 years after his daughter was killed. He’s calling on the community to come forward if they know anything about her death.

On Feb. 10, 2009, at around 11:07 a.m., the Fort Myers Police Department arrived at Maplecrest Apartments, on Crestwood Lake Circle, Apt. 108, after a call about an unconscious woman. The woman, 21-year-old Danielle Blackburn, was found lying in a bathtub off the main hallway of the apartment. Blackburn was limited in her mobility due to multiple sclerosis and could not defend herself against her assailant.

She was a mother getting ready for her 22nd birthday.

Investigators said it was a red flag when Danielle was found in the tub because there was no way she could have gotten in there without help.

Danielle’s family, including her now teenage daughter, get together each year on the day she died. They hope by next year, someone will be charged for her death.

“Every year, when this comes around, it’s a very difficult time for the family,” said Danielle’s father Don Blackburn.

Danielle was only 21-years-old when she was killed inside her Fort Myers apartment. 13 long years have passed for her family, and all they want is justice.

Her father said, “if somebody does know something they probably… It’s something they’re carrying around with them all these years and may want to get it off their chest. So, we’re just hoping that if you know something, do the right thing.”

“Every anniversary, we usually have a dinner and, you know, think about her and just give her the respect, you know, that she deserves,” said Don.

Danielle Blackburn. Credit: Fort Myers Police Department

At the time of her death, Blackburn was in a relationship with Connell Carroll, with whom she had several violent interactions. According to SWFL Crime Stoppers, she had to secure a domestic violence injunction against Carroll on at least one occasion.

Two years after Danielle’s death, Carroll was arrested for the murder of a woman, for which he is now serving a life sentence in prison.

Investigators say there are persons of interest in Danielle’s case, but there isn’t enough evidence to bring charges.

That is where you come in. Investigators hope someone knows what happened to her and will do the right thing.

Southwest Florida Crimestoppers Coordinator Trish Routte said, “her family needs to know what happened. She’s got a daughter who’s now a teenager. She needs to know what happened to her mom.”

Fort Myers police want to speak with anyone who knows what happened to Danielle, including those who may have seen an adult male, who she was familiar with, at or near her apartment that morning.

There is still a reward being offered for the arrest of the person responsible. If you have information and wish to remain anonymous, you can contact SWFL Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477, submit a tip on the P3 Tips mobile app or contact the FMPD cold case unit directly at (239) 321-8040.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.