Suspected killer inadvertently texts detectives about shooting death of his girlfriend

Thomas Phippen, DCNFdcnf-2-1

Police have charged a Florida man in connection to his girlfriend’s shooting death after he inadvertently texted detectives, thinking he was texting his wife.

“I think they are going to arrest me,” 52-year-old David Romig said in a text message that he meant for his wife, instead sending it to police investigators after they questioned him about the Jan. 30 death of Sally Kaufmann-Ruff, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

David W. Romig. Marion County Jail. Photo via: Ocala-Star Banner.

Kaufmann-Ruff was found with gunshot wounds to the head, but Romig initially told police that he had struggled with an intruder. Romig was arrested Monday and charged with one count of homicide, making a false report, and tampering with evidence of a crime.

Romig finally admitted that he had been suffering from “blackouts” and had been hearing voices, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. He said he has an “out-of-body experience,” and he “felt like he was wrestling with himself and the gun went off, shooting Sally.”

He admitted that he “staged the scene due to having blacked out during the shooting, setting the scene as a home invasion,” according to the arrest record reported by NBC Miami.

Romig told police that “he knew he had blacked out when he found himself standing in the kitchen, with all the lights on, and saw Sally lying in the bed making a snoring sound, with a gunshot to her head.”

When police arrived at Romig’s home in January, Romig showed them that his door appeared to be pried open, and pointed out a pry bar and partially smoked cigarette he said didn’t belong to him. Investigators also recovered a piece of torn cloth on the door frame Romig said may have been ripped from the intruder’s garments.

Police were suspicious about his story, and even more suspicious after Romig sent a text saying “I think they are going to arrest me” to one of the detectives after they left his home. Later that day, he sent another text saying “Think they are going to arrest.”

Romig told investigators later that he had been nervous, and meant to send the texts to his wife. In further text messages, Romig, thinking he was texting his wife, said someone had broken into his home and he had had a rough night, but that “things don’t add up,” and “I am afraid I did something I don’t remember,” according to police. He concluded his messages with, “If I did this I will kill myself.”

Forensic testing of the cloth and cigarette showed Romig’s DNA on both items, the Star-Banner reported.

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