Still no Arrest in Christmas Eve Murder of Teenage Girl, Despite Admissions Made by Suspect
Last updated 10/17/2023 at 2:17pm
SPRING HILL – Losing a child is without a doubt the most traumatic and heartbreaking experience of any parent's life. When a child is the victim of a homicide and the person responsible isn't held accountable, a never-ending cycle of grief, anger, and resentment consumes every waking moment. That's exactly what Ed and Judy Ptarcinski are going through right now, as the second anniversary of their daughter's murder approaches.
18-year-old Ariana Ptarcinski was stabbed to death inside her Spring Hill home on Christmas Eve 2021, and despite indisputable evidence that her boyfriend Ramon Calderon-Durst murdered Ariana, he still walks free to this day. ORIGINAL INTERVIEW
After their daughter's murder, Ed and Judy were asked by investigators with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) to remain silent and not to talk to the media about their daughter's death. Weeks turned into months without a single update on the investigation. After a year and a half of waiting, Ed and Judy wondered if anything would be done to bring justice for Ariana, so they decided to speak out.
Ed and Judy told R News and other media outlets that they felt investigators had "botched" the investigation and they were concerned Durst would never be arrested. In the days after publishing our last interview with Ed and Judy, they received a letter from State Attorney Peter Magrino, advising that the state was closing the investigation and that Durst would not be charged. No specific reason was given by Magrino, but he made it clear that HCSO and the State Attorney's Office (SAO) had not "botched" the case. HCSO followed suit and told Ed and Judy they were closing their investigation as well.
Hoping to shed some light on why Durst was not charged, R News requested a full report from the Fifth Judicial Circuit and received a total of 373 documents. What we discovered were hundreds of screenshots of news articles and social media posts with circles drawn around critical comments made about Sheriff Al Nienhuis.
R News then submitted the same request directly to HCSO, but surprisingly we were told that the case was, once again, reopened and they could not release any documents or make a statement.
Perplexed by the fact that prosecutors were able to release evidence, but law enforcement could not, we turned our attention back to the Fifth Judicial Circuit and requested any video that was available for release. We were again surprised that the SAO granted our request and provided us with video of Durst sitting in the back of a patrol car at the scene of the crime Click Here for Durst Video.
The hour-long video shows Durst sitting in the back of a patrol car, wearing a blood-stained shirt and appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Throughout the video, Durst made several statements that could be interpreted by some as a confession of guilt. Durst is heard saying to himself, "My life is over" and "No one will have mercy for me, no one and I don't blame them. I wouldn't have mercy for me either." He later asks Deputy Abraham Dowdell, "Do you know what federal prison I'll go to?" The most compelling statement made by Durst was when he tried to explain how Ariana was stabbed. "I fucking slipped on a wet bed and it's all over." Durst later states, "I'm sorry for what I did, it's embarrassing."
R News was not provided the full interview video between Durst and Detectives, except when they told him he was not going to be charged and was free to go. Durst even appeared to be surprised at the decision and said, "Wait, what?"
Ed and Judy say they just want Durst to be held accountable for what he did, even if that means a lesser charge of negligent homicide or manslaughter. They don't understand why nothing is being done and why officials refuse to give them answers.
To this day, Sheriff Al Nienhuis has not met with the family to share his condolences, as he normally does with a homicide victim's family, especially ones that are domestic-related.