Investigators claim David Romig staged the crime scene to make it look like a home invasion

By Chris Harris
February 16, 2018 10:15 AM

A Florida man faces murder charges for allegedly sending two text messages meant for his wife to the lead detective investigating his girlfriend’s Jan. 30 fatal shooting that indicated he was nervous his arrest was imminent.

“I think they are going to arrest me” reads the first alleged text from David Romig, 52. Police allege Romig murdered live-in girlfriend Sally Kaufmann-Ruff, 64, and staged his Dunnellon home to make it look like an intruder had entered.

The second text allegedly sent by Romig was an abbreviated version of the first.

Kaufmann-Ruff was killed on Jan. 30; officers found her unresponsive with a single gunshot wound to the right side of her head.

Romig has not yet entered pleas to the murder, tampering with evidence and false reporting of a crime charges he faces. Information on his lawyer wasn’t immediately available.

The statement alleges Romig told investigators he was present during the incident, even allegedly directing deputies to a pry-bar and a partially smoked cigarette on the front porch — though tests would ultimately show both contained his DNA.

Credit: Marion County Sheriff's Office

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Traces of his DNA were also found on a piece of cloth attached to the splintered door frame, which police allege was cut with scissors.

Detectives allege Romig’s account of the events conflicted with physical evidence recovered from the scene.

Romig allegedly told detectives he and the victim were sleeping when a man he does not know woke him up. The statement alleges Romig said the intruder covered his mouth with one hand and was wearing a head-mounted flashlight.

He claimed he grabbed the suspect’s arms and the gun the man was holding went off.

Romig allegedly provided police with a description of the purported shooter, including his height, race, and features.

But detectives believe he staged the crime scene and allege he is the one who killed Kaufmann-Ruff.

Hours after first calling police, Romig sent the texts to the detective. On Monday, following his arrest, police say he admitted he may have killed Kaufmann-Ruff.

Romig allegedly told police that in recent weeks, he had been suffering from “blackouts.” He later claimed “he was hearing voices” and allegedly indicated he had “an out-of-body experience.” He is also alleged to have told police he “felt like he was wrestling with himself and the gun went off, shooting Sally.”

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“Romig said he staged the scene to make it look like a home invasion because he blacked out,” reads the statement, which adds the suspect is the sole beneficiary in Kaufmann-Ruff’s will.

Romig is being held without bond and is on suicide watch at the Marion County Jail.

He will be in court next on March 20.