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Arrest in Clara Drive Death Investigation

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 20-018

Date

Location

Arrest in Clara Drive Death Investigation

On September 16, 2019, Ralph Wald, 77, called 911 and stated something was wrong with a female inside the residence, and he did not know if she was breathing. Deputies arrived at the home on Clara Drive and found the victim deceased on the couch in the living room.
 
The MEO investigator arrived, moved the victim to the floor and observed a gunshot wound to her chest. No gun was observed within the living room. Deputies secured the scene and detectives responded and wrote a search warrant for the residence.
 
An interview was attempted with Wald, but he invoked his right to remain silent.
 
A search warrant was obtained for the residence, and the scene was processed. A .38 caliber revolver was located in a gun box in the nightstand in Wald’s bedroom. The firearm had one spent casing within the cylinder in line with the barrel.
 
The firearm used during this incident was found to be the same firearm used in a homicide that occurred on March 24, 2013. In that case, Ralph Wald was charged with 2nd Degree Murder after he confessed to shooting a man while the man was engaged in sex with his wife. Ralph Wald was found not guilty by a jury.
 
The investigation and forensic evidence revealed the victim was shot by Ralph Wald. The firearm used during this incident was found to be the same firearm used in a homicide that occurred on March 24, 2013, which still showed the FDLE markings.
 
This case was presented to the State Attorney’s Office in December 2019. On January 17, 2020,  after consultation with the SAO, Ralph Wald was charged with Manslaughter with a Firearm.