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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Gainesville man arrested, charged with homicide, evidence tampering

A woman was found dead in hotel about two miles from campus

Gainesville police arrested a man for allegedly murdering a Gainesville woman at a hotel about two miles from UF’s campus this weekend.

Brian Burns, a 25-year-old Gainesville resident, faces homicide and evidence tampering charges, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report. He is being held at the Alachua County jail on a $2 million bond.

Police arrested Burns at the Stayable Select Hotel, located at 2900 SW 13th St. near IHOP, for an unrelated misdemeanor warrant Saturday, GPD spokesperson Graham Glover said. When Burns arrived at the police station, the report said, he confessed to murdering the woman prior to his arrest.

Burns and the victim, who lived together and were known to use drugs, got into an argument Saturday, according to the report. A witness said they were known to argue in their “on and off again relationship.”

A hotel resident discovered the victim’s body and alerted a hotel employee who called police, according to a GPD press release.

Police found the victim on the floor with a black garbage bag around her head, a brown belt tied around her neck, four stab wounds in her chest and two bottles of bleach cleaning products next to her body, according to the report.

Burns took a shower, changed his clothes and left the hotel to hide, he said. He slept in a vacant nearby apartment complex and came out of hiding because he was hungry, according to the report.

He has a criminal history including traffic, drug possession and theft charges. According to a first appearance order filed Sunday, Burns has six drug misdemeanor adjudications — the most recent in 2021.

Stephen Nalley, the hotel’s CEO, said the homicide was a tragedy.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim’s friends and family members,” he said.

While the victim's room is closed due to the ongoing investigation, Nalley said the hotel is still operating.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Contact Mickenzie Hannon at Follow her on Twitter @MickenzieHannon.

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Mickenzie Hannon

Mickenzie is the local elections reporter and previously covered city and county commission for The Alligator’s Metro Desk. She's a fourth-year journalism major and is specializing in data journalism. When Mickenzie isn’t writing, she enjoys watching horror movies, reading, playing with her pets and attending concerts.

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