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Four charged after being found in missing woman’s house

By Staff | Apr 18, 2011

A Lee deputy who went by a missing Estero woman’s house Friday afternoon found four people inside, including one who snorted some cocaine as the deputy watched.
Shane Steven Simpkins, 24, of the 2000 block of N.E. 34th Terrace, Cape Coral, was charged with possession of cocaine, according to Lee County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Three others also were arrested: Tiffany Marie Sipp, 17, was charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. Two Oxycodone pills were found in her purse after she was taken to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning, according to the reports.
Stephen Patrick Smutney, 19, was charged with resisting arrest with violence. Smutney is accused of screaming at and cursing deputies, then wrestled with them while being put into a patrol car, according to the reports.
Smutney and Sipp have the same address as Simpkins.
Nicole Rae Durden, 18, of the 7500 block of Suncoast Drive, North Fort Myers, was charged with possession of paraphernalia after deputies found a marijuana pipe in her purse along with a pack of rolling papers.
Earlier in the day Friday deputies had gone to the home of Maryann E. Zarb, 64, of the 20000 block of Country Barn Drive in Estero to check on her well-being after relatives had not heard from her since April 11. Zarb lives alone, earlier reports show.
Deputies found a rear door unlocked and went inside. No one was in the house.
Later in the day, a deputy drove by the house and saw a white Ford Escape in the driveway and the garage door open. He parked his patrol car and went to the front porch where he saw four people inside the house. One man was standing in front of a table, leaning over it and began “snorting a line of a white powdery substance off the table top,” the deputy wrote.
Simpkins saw the deputy and came out. The four people were detained and taken to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning.
Lt. Larry King said Monday the investigation continues into Zarb’s disappearance which family characterized as unusual.
“The uncharacteristic disappearance speaks for itself,” King said. “We are trying to determine all of the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.”
The reports did not indicate whether the four knew Zarb.
Zarb is described as a white female with blondish red hair and blue eyes. She is 5-feet-4 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Family and friends say it is highly unusual for her to not be in contact with anyone.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on Zarb’s whereabouts to call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 239-477-1000 or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 dollars, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).
(Editor’s note: Reprinted with permission from the Naples Daily News.)