The last words Christina Mahzamani spoke to her children was a simple reassurance: I’ll be right back.
A casual promise, made on a cool Sunday evening in the Tampa, Fla. suburb of Brandon, about an errand to get eye drops from a friend. But when Christina’s children awoke the next morning, they found that their mother had never made it home. They called their father, who was out of town on business, and one phone call later the children were safely in the care of their grandfather. Unable to locate her with the help of friends and family, he reported Christina missing to local law enforcement. In the coming days, the ensuing investigation revealed the grisly reason she never made it home and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced they had identified and arrested the man whom they believe is responsible for that broken promise.
Christina Mahzamani: Her Family Loses A Mother, Daughter, And Wife In A Tragic Murder
According to the news release, HCSO received a 9-1-1 call from Michael Jason Fields on Tuesday, March 11, who reported finding a deceased woman outside his residence at 2709 St Cloud Oaks Drive in Valrico, where he lived with the property owners. He pointed out Christina Mahzamani’s body and identified her as his girlfriend. Fields told detectives he had last seen her at 11 p.m. on Sunday and that she’d departed his residence in her vehicle. Mahzamani’s 2013 Buick Enclave had been reported the day prior as an abandoned vehicle blocking the driveway at 511 Briar Meadows Drive in Valrico, less than a mile away.
Investigators on-scene Tuesday discovered drag marks leading to the rear of 2707 St Cloud Oaks, there finding a cinder block with blood on it, in addition to “an area of dirt with what appeared to be blood” and a partial shoe print, the impression of which was consistent with the shoes Fields was wearing. A search of his bedroom turned up pajama pants with what appeared to blood on the front.
Homicide detectives arrested Fields at the crime scene and took him in for further questioning. He was booked Wednesday, March 12, into the Hillsborough County Jail, with no bond, on the charge of second degree murder with a weapon. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Christina Mahzamani’s death a homicide Tuesday, listing the cause of death as bludgeoning of her head.
Christina Mahzamani’s family first received word of her tragic death Tuesday evening. Before the missing persons report, abandoned vehicle and deceased body had been linked, law enforcement interviewed the family, during which time the children, ages 13, 9 and 7, recalled Christina arguing on the phone Sunday evening with the accused, who was previously arrested in October, 2008 and later adjudicated guilty on an unrelated felony charge of child abuse.
The children are currently in the care of their father, Frank Mahzamani.
Born June 22, 1981, Christina Mahzamani is remembered as a “devoted, loving mother” per WTSP, the local CBS affiliate. While family members declined to be quoted in order to maintain their privacy, they were willing to offer background on Christina’s life. She was raised in New Jersey for most of her childhood, attending Minisink Valley High School. In December of 1999, she moved to New Port Richey, Fla., where she met Frank; the couple got married in May, 2000. The Mahzamani’s eventually moved to Brandon, and have lived in the suburbs of Tampa for more 10 years, among family and friends in the region. During their 14 years of marriage the couple welcomed three children into the world. After her second-born, Christina helped form Active Moms of Brandon on meetup.com, a social group in which local mothers could gather and make new friends; the group was an immediate success that formed hundreds of friendships between moms in the area.
Christina was a born nurturer, caring for her father, who had Parkinson’s disease, and was voted head of the parent teacher fellowship at her children’s school. She donated to many charities and causes and participated regularly in helping the homeless. Christina Mahzamani was passionate about photography and dreamed of owning a chain of healthy fast food restaurants. Her husband described her as “a loving friend, a good mother and a philanthropist.”
At the time of her death, Christina and Frank were in the middle of civil divorce proceedings, sharing mutual custody of the three children. The family did their best to stay close. She was trying to get back in shape and become a personal trainer to help people lead better and healthier lives. She was active, upbeat, and very motivated to help those around her as much as she could.
It was during this period of estrangement that Christina’s family say she met Michael Fields. Their relationship was described as troubled and began deteriorating within a matter of months. Fields moved in with Christina but was subsequently kicked out in December, 2013, for his behavior in front of her children.
Sunday was the last time Christina Mahzamani’s children saw her alive.
She said she would be right back.
That promise was broken for her, but authorities believe they have the man responsible.