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Former Amherst woman found fatally beaten in Florida

A former Amherst woman was beaten to death inside her Florida home Thursday, and her two tenants are being sought as “persons of interest.”

The body of Alisa S. Kerman, 52, was found in her bedroom in Port St. Lucie on Thursday evening. She died from blunt-force trauma to the head, Port St. Lucie Master Sgt. Frank Sabol said Saturday.

One of the two tenants being sought is a man whom Kerman befriended a few years ago, letting him live in her house and employing him as a driver for her company, officials said.

“She was a beautiful person, with a heart of gold,” Kerman’s next-door neighbor, Beatriz DellaGuardia, told The Buffalo News on Saturday. “You couldn’t have a better neighbor.”

Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a 16-year-old girl who lived in Kerman’s home called police to tell them that the woman, identified as her guardian, was dead inside.

Police responding to the call also found that Kerman’s truck was missing from the home, along with two guns she owned.

So police are looking for David Weingrad, 27, and his girlfriend, Georgia Scordamaglia, 31, whom they’ve labeled as persons of interest – not suspects – in the case.

“They’re persons of interest right now because they were the last known people in the house where she was last seen alive,” Sabol told The Buffalo News. “We have to catch up to them and find out what their involvement was. Our top priority is to locate them and the truck.”

On Saturday, Port St. Lucie police confirmed that Kerman was from the Buffalo area, before moving to Florida, apparently quite a few years ago. Her mother still lives in Amherst, police said, and Kerman’s Facebook page suggests that she may have attended Sweet Home High School and the University at Buffalo.

In Florida, Kerman ran a bounce-house company called A Jump Above the Rest, and in that capacity she hired Weingrad, who moved into her house about three years ago. His girlfriend moved in later.

Referring to Kerman, Sabol said, “She was a kind person who took him in when he had fallen on hard times. She was trying to help him out.”

Weingrad worked as a driver for the company, but he apparently stopped working there after his driver’s license was suspended. Both Weingrad and Scordamaglia have been arrested once before, for either robbery or burglary, but authorities believe those charges were dropped.

On Thursday, the 16-year-old girl went to school, and when she came home in the afternoon, Kerman’s truck was not there. A few hours later, she became concerned and went to her guardian’s bedroom, where she found the body.

DellaGuardia, the neighbor, recalled the time a few months ago when Kerman came over to administer CPR to DellaGuardia’s 90-year-old mother, who had suffered a seizure and passed out. Another time, Kerman – whom neighbors called “Lisa” – picked up DellaGuardia at a local hospital at 2 a.m.

“We can’t believe it,” DellaGuardia added. “Nobody deserves to be killed like that. She was a strong lady, but a really nice lady. We will miss her.”

Anyone who has information about the whereabouts of Weingrad or Scordamaglia is asked to call Port St. Lucie police at (772) 871-5001.