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Nichole Maks Thought Soda Would Erase her Murderous DNA Evidence

 A Florida woman, covered in blood and suspected of murder, faced additional charges after she appealed to the police for a soda, which she then proceeded to "pour all over herself" in a desperate attempt to erase potential forensic evidence from her body, according to the Daytona Beach police.

Identified as Nichole A. Maks, aged 35, she was accused of tampering with evidence and resisting arrest with violence, alongside the primary charge of premeditated first-degree murder in connection with the death of 79-year-old Michael Cerasoli on August 5th. The information comes from a probable cause affidavit provided by the police and shared with Fox News Digital.

The incident unfolded when firefighters were summoned to a residence on Clark Street, around 1:46 a.m. on July 1st, where a home was discovered with smoldering clothes on its second floor. Authorities from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office conveyed that an arson investigation was ongoing but provided no further details.

Upon extinguishing the flames, first responders uncovered Cerasoli's lifeless body in a room splattered with blood. The autopsy revealed he had suffered both blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds to his torso, a tragic discovery made by the police.

Notably, Maks was charged with first-degree premeditated murder on July 1st, in addition to evidence tampering and resisting arrest for her soda-scrubbing endeavor. The deceased man's landlord informed authorities that Maks was another tenant on the premises but had vanished from the scene. Nearby the victim's body were two cellphones; one belonged to Cerasoli, while the other, with a bloodied knife precariously balanced on it, was traced back to Maks.

Less than two hours later, the police spotted a bloodstained Maks without shoes and with a torn shirt outside a Krystal restaurant in Holly Hill, a nearby community. Upon their approach, Maks discarded a knife and a hammer. She offered vague information about her whereabouts and residence, initially indicating a pawn shop nearby as her abode, then claiming she had been living on the streets for four years. She denied recognizing Cerasoli when shown his photograph but later acknowledged knowing him, yet denied seeing him on the day of the murder. She then shifted her story, asserting that she lived with Cerasoli and had been present at their residence earlier that day.

Subsequently, the Daytona Beach police took Maks into custody for questioning, consistent with the information in the probable cause affidavit. Following the reading of her Miranda rights, Maks asserted that she had never entered Cerasoli's bedroom and had only ventured to the second floor of their shared apartment to feed her pet spiders.

When questioned about the dropped weapons, Maks became agitated and requested a lawyer. The police returned later with a warrant to collect DNA evidence from her bloodied body. In a peculiar turn of events, Maks asked for a can of Diet Mountain Dew, which the police provided. She engaged in delaying tactics with the drink, leading to a struggle as detectives attempted to retrieve the can from her. Eventually, Maks poured the soda over herself, resisting the officers and attempting to compromise potential evidence on her body, as stated in the affidavit.

Allegedly, the police used force to place a resistant Maks in their police cruiser. The blood found on the knife near Cerasoli's body was found to match samples from Maks' clothing, with her DNA also detected on the weapon's handle, as reported by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Maks is currently incarcerated in Volusia County Jail without bail, and her court appearance is scheduled for September 5th.

In a separate context, a recent study from North Carolina State University indicated that sucralose, a common artificial sweetener present in beverages like Diet Mountain Dew (Splenda), could potentially degrade DNA. However, the study's relevance to the act of dousing oneself in soda as a method of erasing forensic evidence remains uncertain.


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