North Naples FL June 8 2017 A security guard sounded shaken on the phone as he told a dispatcher about how he found the bodies of a North Naples couple in their home last week.
The man went to Barbara and Michael Bitterman's home in the 12000 block of Collier's Reserve Drive to get their mail and check on the house Wednesday, he said in the 911 call. They were supposed to have left on a trip Tuesday.
He tried to silence the burglar alarm when it tripped, but the code didn't work, he told the dispatcher. He called another security guard at the Collier's Reserve community on Immokalee Road just east of U.S. 41 to notify him of the problem, according to the 911 call.
The guard saw a light on in a hallway and went to turn it off. He then saw a body lying on the floor in the guest bedroom, he said in the 911 call. He believed the body to be that of Michael Bitterman, 74, but he told the dispatcher he wasn't sure.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office received two calls about the burglary alarm — one from the alarm company and another from the community's security team.
The guard who checked on the Bittermans' home waited for deputies outside the mansion and told the dispatcher that he was the one who set off the alarm when he took their mail inside.
When deputies arrived they found Michael Bitterman lying on his back with a gunshot wound to his facial area. Barbara Bitterman, 61, was found lying on the bed with her feet hanging off the edge and a gunshot wound to her facial area.
Deputies found a shotgun on the floor at the foot of the bed, according to a Sheriff's Office incident report. They also found two suitcases full of clothes in the master bedroom.
Their deaths were ruled a murder-suicide, and investigators are waiting for the medical examiner's reports to determine who shot whom, according to Michelle Batten, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.
Friends and neighbors said the deaths shocked the Collier's Reserve community. They said the Bittermans were active in the community's country club and enjoyed traveling. One neighbor said the couple was going on a cruise last week.