A Florida woman who is being investigated for murder has been charged with more crimes after attempting to use soda to remove possible forensic evidence. In relation to the death of 79-year-old Michael Cerasoli, Nichole A. Maks, 35, is being charged with premeditated first-degree murder, violent resistance to arrest, and tampering with evidence. The unnerving event brings to light the extreme lengths people will go to in order to avoid being connected to any criminal activity.
The investigation started on July 1 when Daytona Beach firemen were called to a house fire. They found Michael Cerasoli’s lifeless body inside the house; he had been stabbed and suffered head damage. Maks was not at the scene; he had been living with Cerasoli. Suspicion regarding her involvement was sparked by the discovery of two cellphones—belonging to Maks and Cerasoli—and a bloodied knife close to the victim.
Maks was found by police shortly after, barefoot and with blood on her leg, outside of a restaurant. She dropped a hammer and a knife as the officers got closer, adding to their suspicions. Maks gave erratic responses when questioned concerning her relationship with Cerasoli and her whereabouts. When questioned about the guns she had dropped, her conduct became more frantic, and she requested to see a lawyer.
After her arrest, Maks made an odd move. She asked for a Diet Mountain Dew can while she was being held by the cops. She spilled the soda all over herself, seemingly trying to get rid of any forensic evidence, rather than consuming it. She fought against them when they tried to stop her from doing this, and before they could get her into a police car, they intervened.
At the moment, Nichole A. Maks is being held without bond at the Volusia County Jail. September 5th is her scheduled court appearance. Her attempt to manipulate the evidence using Coke is strange, but it’s not clear if it will work or not. It’s unclear how well artificial sweeteners, which are included in soda, can break down DNA, despite a recent study’s suggestion that they might be able to do so.
This incident serves as a reminder of the difficulties law enforcement encounters while looking into complex criminal cases as the judicial proceedings progress. It also emphasizes how important forensic science is to finding the truth and making sure victims receive justice.