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Tampa FBI joins hunt for suspect

Agents believe Laren Sims, wanted in Tampa on other charges, poisoned her husband.

By JAMIE JONES, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 15, 2002

Agents believe Laren Sims, wanted in Tampa on other charges, poisoned her husband.

Tampa FBI agents have joined a nationwide search for a 36-year-old woman wanted in the poisoning death of her husband in California.

Laren Renee Sims, wanted in Tampa for burglary and credit card fraud, was last seen leaving her California home in a red convertible Jaguar in January. A month later, field workers found the body of her husband, Sacramento attorney Larry McNabney, 52, buried in a San Joaquin County vineyard wearing a T-shirt and boxers.

Authorities believe Sims gave her husband a lethal dose of horse tranquilizer and stored his body in a refrigerator in the garage for several weeks while she sold his assets. She left her home south of Sacramento with her 17-year-old daughter and no less than $500,000, officials said.

Friends told authorities Sims was vague about her past but mentioned ties to Florida. Sims' mother lives north of Brooksville, authorities said. A woman who answered the door Thursday said the family had no comment.

Authorities said Sims got a job at her husband's Las Vegas law firm and became his fifth wife about six years ago. Her husband was last seen Sept. 10 at a Los Angeles-area horse show.

Between 1988 to 1993, Sims was repeatedly arrested by deputies in Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. She was convicted of burglary, larceny and dealing in stolen property in Hernando County in 1989.

She was arrested at least three times in Hillsborough, including a 1991 arrest for grand theft and dealing in stolen property. She has two outstanding warrants stemming from those charges.

Records indicate that she once lived in Valrico.

-- Times staff writer Tamara Lush contributed to this report. Information from the Sacramento Bee and the Associated Press was used.

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