'You Make Shit Up': Florida sheriff provides case updates, addresses serial killer rumors surrounding recent homicide
Last Thursday Night, the Sheriff's office in Marion County Florida responded to a call to Forest Lakes Park that lead them to discover a 16-year-old victim, Layla Silvernail. She was found in critical condition after suffering a gunshot wound. The following morning, deputies responded to SE 94th Street and SE 188th Court to find a 17-year-old male lying beside the road who was found deceased, also from a gunshot. Further investigation has unveiled another victim, sparking rumors and an official address from Sheriff Woods.
"On Saturday, more of my deputies responded to the area of Malauka Loop and Malauka Loop Trace in reference to information that led us to the victim's vehicle that was partially submerged at the edge of a nearby body of water." said Woods in the video posted to Marion County Sheriff's Office's (MCSO) social media platforms 2 hours ago.
After receiving a warrant for Silvernail's vehicle, members of MCSO's Major Crimes and Forensic Unit, as well as an Underwater Recovery Team were able to seize and search the sunken vehicle.
"After going through the vehicle, we found a third victim." Woods continued. The third victim was identified as a 16-year-old female who had suffered similar wounds and was pronounced dead on discovery.
"We are devastated for the families of these three teens, and we are dedicated to bringing whoever is responsible for these heinous acts to justice." Woods goes on to say they're asking for help, stating his belief that there are people out there with information they haven't brought forth.
The discovery of a third victim has also led to swirling rumors of a fourth victim's existence, as well as discussions of a potential serial killer on the loose, which Sheriff Woods was quick to put a kibosh on. As of publication, Woods states that there is no information that would indicate the existence of another victim.
"Unless you know something that we don't — and that means you're not helping us." The Sheriff adds emphasis to his voice as he points directly to the camera as he speaks on the subject; his face appears serious and tense as he raises a single eyebrow.
As for the potential of a serial killer, Sheriff Woods states that's far from the truth.
"Now I have the facts of what we know right now, and I can give you that assurance." Woods goes on to remind the concerned and passionate community members speculating on social media of the families who have had to read their comments during such a difficult time.
"Some of you, you make shit up..." Woods dismayed, "It's devastating to that family, and you need to stop."
Detectives with the Major Crimes Unit are working around the clock to continue the homicide investigation, and Woods says he has them following up on every potential lead. He asks if anyone has information to call Detective Ryan Stith at (352) 368-3542 or to anonymously contact Crime Stoppers of Marion County at (352)368-STOP (7867) and reference case 23-22 in your tip.
You can watch the full video here of Sheriff Woods' public address.
Article by Rachael Volpe