Woman Tries to Cover up a Murder with Fire and Diet Mountain Dew

On the morning of July 1, 2023, in the early hours, emergency personnel in Daytona Beach swiftly reacted to a fire incident at a residence situated on Clark Street. Upon arrival, responders discovered a pile of clothes ablaze positioned at the stairwell’s upper part. Once the fire was successfully put out, a thorough search of the residence was conducted. Regrettably, an individual was found on the second floor, unresponsive. Tragically, despite the efforts of paramedics, the person was declared deceased.

The individual who passed away was recognized as Michael Cerasoli, aged 75. Examination revealed that he had suffered from blunt force trauma to the rear of his head along with numerous stab wounds. Following discussions with the landlord, law enforcement ascertained that Cerasoli shared the residence with a female cohabitant, Nichole Maks, aged 35. Notably, a knife and two mobile phones were located at the site, accompanied by blood splatters suggesting a confrontation. One of the mobile phones belonged to Maks, causing her to become a focal point of interest in the ongoing inquiry.

A little over a month after the initial incident, precisely on Saturday, August 5, 2023, law enforcement managed to locate Maks close to a Holly Hill restaurant. The individual in question was observed without shoes, with traces of blood spatter visible on both her attire and feet. Furthermore, she was witnessed discarding a knife and a hammer onto the ground.

Upon being interrogated by the police, Maks provided false information regarding her association with Cerasoli. She initially claimed to have been homeless for a number of years and denied any knowledge of the victim. However, her narrative underwent multiple alterations, eventually leading to her apprehension after she admitted to cohabiting with the deceased.

During a follow-up interview subsequent to her apprehension, Maks declined to respond to police inquiries. Following the notification that a DNA sample would be collected from her, she requested a Diet Mountain Dew. She proceeded to pour the beverage onto her hair and body in an effort to eliminate any potential DNA evidence on her person. This action led to a physical altercation with the officers. Consequently, she was charged with both evidence tampering and resisting arrest involving force.

Despite Maks’ endeavor to eliminate DNA traces, her attempt proved ineffective. Subsequent analysis confirmed that her DNA corresponded with the genetic material identified on the knife discovered at the scene.




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