Florida Woman Doused Herself in Diet Dew To Erase DNA After Murder
A Volusia County woman suspected of killing her 79-year-old roommate allegedly used soda to try and erase possible DNA evidence on her body, according to the affidavit.
Police say 35-year-old Nichole Maks was booked into the Volusia County Jail on August 5th on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and resisting arrest with violence.
During the morning hours of July 1st, the Daytona Beach police were flagged down by a concerned citizen about a house fire at a home on the 600 block of Clark Street.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, they were able to put out the fire, but they did find one man lying on the floor dead - but not from the fire. The victim had blunt force trauma to the back of his head, and multiple stab wounds in his torso, the affidavit said.
The man was later identified as 79-year-old Michael Cerasoli.
Inside the home's bedroom, near the body, police found a knife covered in blood. Blood was also found on the wall next to the bedroom closet of Nichole Maks.
An all-points bulletin was put out for Maks, as a possible person of interest in the murder case.
Around 3:30am, an officer found Maks at Krystal's restaurant on North Ridgewood Avenue in Holly Hill. She had no shoes on and had blood on the side of her leg, officers reported. A portion of the shirt she was wearing had either been torn or cut off. The portion had blood on it, police said.
As officers approached her, she dropped a knife and a hammer she was carrying. Authorities said they heard multiple versions of the story from Maks when she was questioned.
She told officers she didn't know the victim and that she was homeless. She also said she didn't know anything about the knife and hammer.
She later admitted to being his roommate but denied seeing him on the day he was murdered. Maks reportedly did confess to carrying the knife and hammer but said she often carries them around on her person.
When asked about the fire, Maks became agitated, refused to speak any further and requested an attorney.
While escorting Maks to the patrol car, detectives informed her that they would be collecting her DNA. It was then that she asked officers for a drink, and one of them gave her a Diet Mountain Dew.
Officers said she began to procrastinate while drinking the soda. When an officer tried to grab it from her, Maks doused herself with the soda, pouring it over her body and hair, trying to interfere with the evidence that was on her body. She also began "pulling and kicking officers," as they tried to secure her in the back of a squad car.
On July 28th, the detective received the DNA results back from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for the knife found next to the victim.
The blood on the blade was on the knife's blade, and Maks DNA was located on the handle of the knife.
Last week, Maks entered a written plea of not guilty on all charges last week, according to court records.
On Sunday, Maks' attorney requested a doctor to determine her mental competence to stand trial.
Nichole Maks remains in the Volusia County Jail without bond.
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