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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Sheriff's office to burn evidence from Rolling murder case

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is planning to destroy truckloads of evidence used in the Danny Rolling murder case within the next two weeks.

The murder case was officially closed when Rolling, who brutally murdered five Gainesville college students in 1990, was executed in 2006.

"That's about as final as it can get," said Lt. Stephen Maynard, the sheriff's office spokesman.

Thousands of items used as evidence have been kept in a secure evidence vault at the sheriff's office, Maynard said. The items will be incinerated locally at a confidential location.

"It's going to be a big job," he said.

Sheriff's office staff have to transport the items and account for each one as it is incinerated so they can say they witnessed its destruction.

Items include clothing, receipts, fingerprints, DNA evidence and carpet.

The sheriff's office even has sliding glass doors that Rolling removed hinges from to get into an apartment where he committed one of his murders, Maynard said.

"Anything we thought we might need, we took it," he said.

The victims' families as well as relatives of Rolling were notified so they could collect any items they were legally entitled to keep, Maynard said.

They were able to collect what they wanted during the past year.

Only a fraction of the evidence was taken, such as family photographs that were on the shelves in the victims' apartments, he said.

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Other items, including furniture and clothing, were not taken because of the painful memories associated with them, he said.

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