32-year-old man sentenced to life in prison for 2011 Alachua County murder
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A cold case is put to rest as Raymond Profit, 32, will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing Jeremy Meldau, 26, on Mar. 29, 2011, according to the 8th District State Attorney’s Office.
About 30 witnesses and the family members of Meldau’s gave statements that lead to a guilty conviction of Profit. Former detective Benjamin Smith hopes his life sentence brings the family closure.
“They were saying how much Jeremy Meldau meant to them and sad it was this act that took him away,” Smith said.
The Gainesville Police Department first responded to Phoenix Villas Apartments on Mar. 29, 2011.
“Mr. Profit had befriended Mr. Meldau and they were exchanging numbers,” 8th District State Attorney’s Office Chief Investigator Darry Lloyd explained. “There was probably some narcotics involved but Mr. Profit set him up and murdered him with a gunshot wound to the head.”
The case went cold until a grand jury indicted Profit in Jan. 2016 while he was in prison on charges related to a home invasion robbery.
“Which was very similar to this murder case as well,” Lloyd said.
Former Gainesville police detective Benjamin Smith was at the scene in 2011 and investigated the crime when it went cold.
“When this incident happened we went to the scene and it was a very heinous crime and it was sad that someone lost their life for such a senseless reason and it just took a really long time and through a lot of detectives and attorneys work to get to this point,” Smith said.
He is now an investigator at the State Attorney’s Office and is one of many that helped bring Meldau’s family answers.
“We want to give our utmost effort to bring closure to these families and do everything we can,” Smith said.
Meldau left behind a daughter who is now 11 years old.
“The daughter is a real source of pride for the mom,” Smith said. “The mom was telling me that she’s a straight A student really doing great, well adjusted. So it’s just a great job and she’s really proud of her.”
While the case went cold years back, he’s relieved someone is now answering to the heinous crime.
“I think they really appreciate that although it’ll never replace their loved one.”
The sentencing leaves everyone involved sad this life was taken but relieved to know who’s responsible.
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