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Man, woman found shot to death in mobile home

Sheriff's detectives suspect the shooting was a murder-suicide. Neighbors say the couple seemed happy.

By SUSAN THURSTON, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 2, 2002

TAMPA -- Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies found a husband and wife shot to death at their single-wide mobile home Saturday night, officials said.

Detectives think the shooting was a murder-suicide, said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Rod Reder.

Deputies were called to the home of Perry D. Clift, 61, by a relative who said he was concerned about Clift's safety. When they arrived at 7414-B 51st Ave. S about 7:30 p.m., deputies forced their way into the home and found Clift and his 46-year-old wife, Cindy, had been fatally shot with a handgun, Reder said.

News of their deaths shocked neighbors in this rural Hillsborough County community near Progress Village, north of Riverview.

"They were real nice people," said Art Wentz, who lives next door. "I thought they were pretty much having fun in their lives."

Wentz and his brother, Keith, said the couple often waved to neighbors and said hello. Perry Clift spent time fishing, and Cindy Clift enjoyed gardening and working around the yard, Wentz said.

The two had lived in the home for several years. Clift's son lived next door. He did not want to comment Sunday.

The Wentz brothers said they did not hear anything out of the ordinary Saturday.

Reder said the investigation is continuing.

-- Times Staff Writer Ed Quioco contributed to this report.

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