Police officials said the 35-year-old suspect, later identified as Nicole, was taken into custody and charged with tampering with evidence and resisting arrest with violence and premeditated first-degree murder in the death of 79-year-old Michael on Aug. 5. First responders arrived on scene and discovered that clothes on the second floor had been set on fire. After extinguishing the flames, first responders found the victim lying facedown in a blood-ladden room. He had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds to the torso, per reports.
The landlord told police that Nicole was his other tenant, but the woman was nowhere to be found, ClickOrlando reported. Two cellphones were recovered near the victim’s corpse: one belonged to the victim, while the other, which had a bloodied knife balanced on top of it, belonged to the 35-year-old woman. Less than two hours later, police spotted a barefoot Nicole bleeding profusely from her leg along with a ripped shirt outside in the nearby community. When they approached, police said, she dropped a knife and a hammer at their feet.
The woman the avoided questions about her recent whereabouts and where she lived, first pointing in a direction and saying she lived ‘right over there’ by a nearby pawn shop before claiming she had been living on the streets for the last four years, police said. She denied knowing the victim when officers showed her his photograph. When pressed, police said she conceded that she knew the man but denied seeing him on the day he was murdered. Then she shifted again, telling police she currently lived with Michael and was at their home earlier that day. The suspect was taken into custody. During an interview, she reportedly said that she never entered Michael’s bedroom and only set foot on the second floor of their shared apartment to feed her spiders.
When asked about the weapons she had dropped, police said, Nicole according to the probable cause affidavit became agitated and demanded a lawyer. Police returned later with a warrant to test the woman’s bloodied body for DNA evidence. The woman then asked for a can of Diet Mountain Dew and police obliged her. She began to procrastinate with the drink, with officers trying to pull the can away from her. Then, Nicole began to resist and poured the can of soda all over her body and hair, pulling away from officers in attempts to interfere with the possible evidence on her body. Blood on the knife found near Michael’s body matched samples taken from Nicole’s clothing, police said. Her DNA was also recovered on the weapon’s handle.