NewsCitrus, Hernando County


Hernando deputies find 'suspicious items' near property once tied to serial murder investigation

Home was once part of serial murder investigation in '80s
Posted at 4:50 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 18:10:16-04

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla — Investigators in Hernando County say they made a suspicious discovery on a nearby property while searching for drugs at a Weeki Wachee home.

The property off Roundup Lane was part of a serial murder investigation back in the 1980s. That history has neighbors worried about what they saw happening at the home on Tuesday.

“I’m kind of in shock right now, I can’t believe I’m standing calmly for the second time telling somebody the events that unfolded yesterday across the street from my house. It’s kind of surreal,” said Kelli Shafer, who lives across the street.

Several Hernando County deputies along with a forensic unit and a small orange tractor were staged in front of 63-year-old Gary Mansfield’s home to execute a search warrant for drugs.

They tell ABC Action News they found drugs, along with tools to make and sell them. Gary Mansfield was arrested on drug-related charges.

But deputies also found other “suspicious items” on a nearby property, unrelated to the drug search, that is being sent off for laboratory testing. They wouldn’t tell us specifically what the items were.

“When we first moved here and we first heard the story it was unsettling,” said Pat Gallagher, who has lived in the neighborhood for nearly two decades.

According to an AP article from 1982, the bodies of four women were found buried on the Roundup Lane property. Billy Mansfield Jr. was later found guilty of the murders and is in custody at a health facility for the death of a California woman.

Gallagher says the new discovery makes him uneasy and brings up many questions.

"Who knows I guess we’ll all find out together,” he said.

“The HCSO will not be releasing any additional information about this investigation at this time. The release of information that has not been confirmed by the HCSO would not be prudent," the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

They added they will update us on any new details when they get them.