ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — About 185 Ormond Beach Police Department investigations are affected after an audit of the evidence room found it in such disarray that the evidence custodian was fired, according to an internal affairs investigation.
The evidence custodian is supposed to be tasked with the safe-keeping and proper disposal of any evidence coming into the police department.
But that’s something a 14-page audit obtained by Channel 9 claims former evidence custodian Marylyn Dance failed to do.
“I would absolutely say, without a reasonable doubt, that this was some really shoddy recordkeeping,” said Ormond Beach Police Chief Jesse Godfrey.
The report states since Dance became evidence custodian in August 2013, the department found “185 cases had some type of discrepancy.”
This includes items not electronically inventoried but shelved, items put in the wrong spot and “123 items unaccounted for.”
The report claims she instructed officers to improperly destroy evidence like bongs by either smashing them with a hammer instead of burning them. Some evidence envelopes appeared to have been tampered with.
The report concluded Dance did not do her job properly, mishandled evidence and changed the way items were destroyed.
“I think the three words a police chief doesn’t want to hear from their evidence custodian is ‘I don’t know’ when asked where is this stuff and what happened,” said Godfrey.
Dance declined to comment.