Roslin Kruse, then 23 years old, was discovered dead on the side of the road 30 years ago today, just outside of Tampa, Florida. DNA testing has helped detectives zero in on a likely suspect in her murder.
In the hours before her death, Kruse was observed entering a car with a “unknown person.” The car was tracked to Michael Rizzo’s house on Tampa’s Mike Drive, where Kruse and the stranger entered. Kruse’s body was located a mere 0.45 miles distant later that day. Her autopsy report concluded that she had been strangled.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office began questioning Rizzo, whose home and vehicle Kruse had entered, after her death was discovered. He told investigators that he had dropped her off while she was still alive and that he had nothing to do with her eventual death. Rizzo was also subjected to a polygraph test by investigators, the findings of which “indicated deception.” Rizzo’s wife and girlfriend at the time gave contradictory stories, which made it harder to piece together the facts.
Forensic evidence was obtained by police after Kruse’s death, however in 1993, no matches were found between the DNA sample and the victim. The evidence was placed in a database and kept there until a match was found. Rizzo’s biological daughter provided a DNA sample to cold case investigators in November 2021, and it matched the profile found on Kruse’s body.
After making the discovery, investigators went to Ponte Vedra, Florida to speak with Kruse’s surviving family members. They preferred to give her family the news of the outcome of the case in person. Sheriff Chad Chronister openly expressed his sorrow and expressed his desire for settlement.
Even though Kruse’s family knows who killed her, they have not yet received justice. The sheriff claims that Kruse’s killer died in Florida on March 1, 2011. This matter has now officially resolved.