On Christmas Eve, 2021, 18-year-old Ariana Ptarcinski was in her room with her 20-year-old boyfriend when she sustained a fatal knife wound to her neck. Now over a year later, the case remains under investigation and the young woman’s family and friends are calling for the resolution of the case. “Someone should be in jail,” Ariana’s father Ed Ptarcinski said.
According to a Hernando County Sheriff’s Office report (HCSO) obtained on March 27 by the Hernando Sun from a friend of the Ptarcinski family, just after midnight on Dec. 25, 2021, deputies responded to a call from Thomas and Melissa LoBianco reporting that they heard screaming coming from the neighboring home of Ed and Judy Ptarcinski at 4054 Beaumont Loop in Spring Hill.
According to the report, the LoBiancos stated that they saw Ed Ptarcinski standing at the front walkway of his residence shouting, “You killed my daughter,” at a man later identified as then 20-year-old Ramon Durst.
Thomas LoBianco told responding deputies at the scene that he began to walk toward Ptarcinski and noticed that Durst, who was covered in blood, charging aggressively at Ptarcinski. LoBianco then used his flat fist to punch Durst on the side of his head. According to the report, LoBianco told deputies that Durst bent forward but did not fall. LoBianco then punched Durst a second time knocking him to the ground, according to his statements contained in the report.
“(He) the boyfriend kept saying ‘ I really (screwed) up, shoot me because I’m going to jail for a long time,’“ Ptarcinski told Hernando Sun.
When they interviewed him at the scene, Ed Ptarcinski told deputies that after spending the evening with his family and with Durst who was in a relationship with Ariana for about 8 or 9 months, Ed and his wife Judy retired to the master bedroom. Shortly thereafter he got up to use the restroom and saw the entry door of their bedroom open and Durst holding Ariana by the hair saying, “I did this.”
At that time, Ed noticed that Ariana was bleeding from her neck which appeared to have been slit. He then began to scream for help, the report said.
According to Ed, personnel from the Hernando County Fire and Emergency Services (HCFES) subsequently arrived at the scene and transported her to the Trauma Center at Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson where she later died.
“I never saw her again until I went to the hospital to pull the plug,” Ptarcinski said.
At the scene, deputies also “attempted” to speak with Judy who “was very hysterical,” and would not answer other questions, but said “Look what he did to my daughter.”
When they interviewed Ariana’s 12-year-old sister, she told deputies that she was in her room when she was awakened by arguing, but could not make out the exact words used in the argument. When she left her bedroom to see what was going on, she saw Durst carrying Ariana by her hair to her parent’s bedroom.
“Her jugular vein had been severed and she was bleeding out,” he said. “I could see her eyes saying ‘Dad help me,’” Ed Ptarcinski later told the Hernando Sun.
According to the HCSO report, deputies detained Durst and attempted to get his personal information. In response, Durst “would only provide his name, date of birth and address,” the report said.
That address is in Stuart, Florida, according to a copy of Durst’s driver’s license, which was also provided to the Hernando Sun by a friend of the Ptarcinski family.
The Ptarcinski family and Durst were all taken to the HCSO for interviews. All were released without charge.
“The boyfriend probably lawyered up,” Ed Ptarcinski said.
According to the report, deputies entered the front door of the residence to make sure no one was left inside. There an investigator noticed drops of “a red substance that appeared to by blood trailing from the northwest bedroom to the southeast master bedroom.”
HCSO investigators later collected evidence at the scene.
According to Ptarcinski, much was overlooked. “They didn’t take a sheet with the boyfriend’s bloody handprints on it -There were two knives in the room – and his wallet,” Ptarcinski said. “I think they botched the investigation – I think they screwed it royally.”
In response, HCSO Media Relations Manager Denise Moloney disagreed.
“We feel certain that the scene was processed very thoroughly,” she said. “We very thoroughly collected evidence and passed it onto SAO for a filing decision.”
According to Moloney, crime scenes are processed by having forensics specialists collect evidence who subsequently package it and pass it on to the States Attorney’s Office (SAO). It’s the SAO’s job to decide which if any charges should be made in connection with the case and against whom.
“The SAO wants to make a case that will stand up to scrutiny by a jury in court,” Moloney said. “They want to make sure that the evidence warrants the charges so that a jury won’t throw the case out of court.”
The process takes time. “Both the HCSO and the SAO take our time to get justice for the victims and the survivors if justice is needed,” she said. “Everyone tries to do their best – it takes time.”
Currently, the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ariana Ptarcinski‘s death remains open.
“The case is still open, pending a filing decision by the SAO,” Moloney said. The SAO also confirmed that “the case is still under investigation.”
While the probe continues, Ed Ptarcinski and those familiar with the incident remain frustrated by the length of time it is taking to come to a resolution in the case. “I did everything they asked me to do – everything in my power in making statements, allowing searchers into my home,” Ptarcinski said. “Nothing is happening.”
Also, on March 27, the Hernando Sun attempted unsuccessfully to contact Thomas LoBianco.
We are told that LoBianco experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the incident, and sold his home which was located three houses away from the Ptarcinski residence in Spring Hill.
LoBianco has been active on social media calling for justice in this case under the hashtag “#justiceforariana.” Meanwhile at least one person familiar with the family is calling Ariana Ptarcinski Spring Hill’s Gabby Petito.
In August 2021, 22-year-old Petito disappeared while traveling with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. Laundrie was later blamed for her death but not before the case captured nationwide attention.
“This is about what can happen to young girls,” said Tanya Rivera. “People are looking for answers.”