Florida Grandma Arrested for Offering Hit Man $5,000 to Off Her Daughter-in-Law

There are a lot of reasons to cook up a murder-for-hire plot, and not one of them is great. Maybe your husband is an abusive womanizer who's cheating on you, or your business partner is embezzling loads of money. Hell, maybe you're even an oil tycoon's son and you're sick of waiting for your inheritance.

But never will there be a sadder attempted hit-man contract than that of Diana Reaves Costarakis. Police say the 70-year-old Florida grandma offered $5,000 to whack her daughter-in-law because she was a drunk planning to move to Colorado with her granddaughter.

Costarakis, who lives in Middleburg, a town just southwest of Jacksonville, was arrested last week by Jacksonville County Sheriff's deputies when her plot fell apart.

Police say she met twice with an undercover agent to spell out her murderous plan: to have her daughter-in-law killed before the young woman could leave Costarakis' son and move to Colorado with a new husband and Costarakis' 6-year-old granddaughter.

Costarakis first handed over $500 to the man at a local Home Depot and then gave him a photo of the woman and her car. She also promised the undercover agent that her daughter-in-law often wore expensive jewelry that he could use toward his fee of $5,000 for the job, the Florida Times Union reports.

At a second meeting, Costarakis gave the man another down payment of $1,000. The man pressed her over whether she really and truly wanted her daughter-in-law dead.

"If you don't do it, I will," Costarakis said, according to police.

The grandma now faces charges of criminal solicitation and criminal conspiracy.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink