After His Girlfriend's Murder, He Texted the Wrong Man
David Romig says he meant to text his wife, not a detective
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2018 11:37 AM CST
Updated Feb 17, 2018 8:10 AM CST
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David Romig.   (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – After a Florida woman was shot dead on Jan. 30, her live-in boyfriend told police she was the victim of a home-invasion gone awry. Then, Marion County sheriff's officials say, David Romig twice texted his wife to say he feared he was going to be arrested for Sally Kaufmann-Ruff's death—or, he meant to text his wife. Instead, he texted Detective Damon Baxley, who had interviewed Romig after the incident. The Ocala Star-Banner reports authorities were called to the Dunnellon home just after 2am and found Kaufmann-Ruff, 64, had suffered a gunshot to the head. Romig, 52, described being awoken by a man wearing a head lamp and brandishing a revolver. Romig alleged the intruder had pried the front door open and fled after a struggle, leaving behind potential evidence: an L&M brand cigarette—not one Romig said he or his girlfriend used—and a piece of torn cloth on the door frame.

Except an analysis showed Romig's DNA was on the cigarette and cloth, whose straight edges suggested it was cut with scissors, rather than torn. And then there were the texts: "I think they are going to arrest mw [sic]," read one, and "Think they are going to arrest." Romig allegedly told police they were intended for his wife, and he did successfully text her the following, per officials: "I am afraid I did something I don’t remember. ... If I did this I will kill myself." A release from the sheriff's office says Romig "staged the scene ... after he had shot Kaufmann-Ruff during an 'out-of-body' experience." Detectives say he acknowledged Kaufmann-Ruff's daughter is excluded from her will, which benefits only him, reports Click Orlando. He has been charged with second-degree murder and will next appear in court March 20.

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