Innocent Online Chat Leads to Attempted Murder Charges

Florida resident Crystal Skiba, 28, was arrested on April 24 on charges of attempted murder, among other serious offenses. The charges stem from an incident involving a man she met on social media, who visited her home under the pretense of discussing a potential business venture. The man, who chose to remain anonymous, reported a harrowing experience that led to Skiba’s arrest.

The man told authorities that he had been communicating with Skiba via Facebook, discussing potential work for a horror production company he was planning to start. After exchanging messages, Skiba invited him to her home. Upon arrival, he noticed the presence of two young children, who Skiba quickly ushered into another room.

The man described the house as being in a state of extreme disarray, with a noticeable handgun lying on the bed. Skiba allegedly attempted to seduce him, but when he tried to steer the conversation back to business, she seemed uninterested. The situation escalated when Skiba allegedly demanded payment for his visit and brandished the gun when he tried to leave.

The man managed to escape the house and reach his car, but not before Skiba allegedly fired several rounds at his vehicle. Skiba later told police that she had invited the man to her home to smoke marijuana and that she only started shooting when he tried to leave. She claimed that he had also fired at her, but a search of his vehicle revealed two fully loaded guns that did not match her description and appeared to have never been fired.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, Skiba faces seven felony charges and four misdemeanors, including shooting into an occupied vehicle, possession of methamphetamines, kidnapping, false imprisonment, child neglect, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and marijuana possession.

The conditions of Skiba’s home were so appalling that police had to take breaks during their investigation due to the overpowering stench. The house was filled with trash, mold, and mildew, and infested with roaches. Skiba’s children, aged 5 and 7, were living in these conditions, leading to additional charges of child neglect.

Skiba’s daughter told police that she couldn’t remember the last time she had been to school and that she often went without breakfast due to lack of money. Both children showed signs of dental decay inconsistent with normal juvenile development.

Skiba pleaded not guilty on April 26 and is scheduled for arraignment on May 14. A public defender representing Skiba did not immediately respond to requests for comment.