Board Of Directors 2018-11-18T09:06:36+00:00

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors come from various fields and specialties related to Homicide, Death investigations and Major Crimes. From Investigators, Forensics, and Medical Examiner Staff, we are providing our members with a well-rounded board of directors.

President

Detective Joseph Ruhlin

Agency: Clearwater Police Department, Florida
Phone: (727) 562-4376

Detective Joseph Ruhlin has been with the Clearwater Police Department since 1992 and has been a homicide detective since 2005. He is a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer Operator and was one of the first operators at the Clearwater Police Department helping found the program. Detective Ruhlin has also been a burglary detective, FTO, patrol sex crimes investigator,intoxilyzer operator and is radar certified.

Vice President

Master Officer Rodney Tower

Agency: St. Petersburg Police Department, Florida
Phone: (727) 892-5008

Rodney Tower has been with the St. Petersburg Police Department for over 26 years with 7 years as a Homicide Detective, 3 years as a Burglary Detective, Field Training Officer, Community Policing Officer, SWAT Team member and Patrol Officer. I am currently assigned as a High Liability Coordinator with the agency. I was an active Board of Director Member for the Florida Homicide Investigators’ Association for six years while being a member of the organization since 2008. I currently hold the position of Vice President with the National Homicide Investigator’s Association.

Robert Miller

Secretary

Detective Robert Miller

Agency: Miami Dade Police Department, Florida
Phone: (305) 629-2611

Robert “Bobby” Miller is a veteran a homicide investigator with the Miami-Dade County Police Department (MDPD) and has been with the agency for over twenty-eight years. His fourteen plus years of experience in the homicide bureau included assignments in the Cold Case Squad, Rotational Homicide Team, Strategic Investigations Squad (S.I.S.), and the Traffic Homicide Unit. Miller is presently on the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) statewide Cold Case Advisory Committee and was previously on the board of directors with the Florida Homicide Investigators Association (FHIA). As he approaches retirement, Detective Miller is currently assigned to the agency’s Professional Compliance Bureau – Public Corruption Section. Miller also served 6 years in the United States Marine Corps.

Detective Sergeant Donald Buie Jr

Treasurer

Detective Sergeant Donald C. Buie, Jr

Agency: Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
Phone: (352) 572-4648

Detective Sergeant Donald C. Buie, Jr. is a 20-year veteran of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in Ocala, Florida. He began his career as a MCSO Deputy Sheriff on Patrol and then focused on building a career path in Major Crimes. Sgt. Buie served as a Special Agent for the U.S. Marshals Service before he was recently promoted to Detective Sergeant over the Robbery/Homicide unit of the MCSO Major Crimes Division. He was named the MCSO’s 2014 Specialty Unit Deputy of the Year and has garnered numerous Unit Citations and Medal of Commendations through his career. Sgt. Buie specializes in complex and highly-sensitive investigations, such as homicides and cold cases. He has worked several high-profile cases, such as the Heather Strong and Seath Jackson homicides. In addition, Sgt. Buie is presently on the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) statewide Cold Case Advisory Committee and he also supervises the MCSO’s 14- person volunteer Cold Case Unit and has had a strong hand in solving four of the agency’s 35 cold cases during his career. He is currently working towards receiving his BA in Criminal Justice from Columbia Southern University and he is a graduate of the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute’s 39th Florida Leadership Academy Class for first line supervisors.

Beth Silverman

West Coast Legal Director

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman

Agency: Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, California

Ms. Silverman has been a Deputy District Attorney since 1994 in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. She is currently assigned to the Major Crimes Division where she vertically prosecutes high-profile, complex homicides. During the last 11 years in this unit, she has successfully obtained the death penalty in several capital cases. She has also prosecuted multiple serial killers including Lonnie Franklin, Jr., aka “the Grim Sleeper,” Michael Hughes, aka “the Southside Slayer,” Chester Turner, Samuel Little, and Latece Brown. Many of these cases involved collaboration with multiple law enforcement agencies and lengthy task force investigations.

The majority of the homicide cases Ms. Silverman prosecutes involve sex crimes, domestic violence and forensic evidence, especially DNA and firearms evidence. In fact, the Lonnie Franklin case was the first case in the country where Familial DNA was utilized to solve a homicide.

View Silverman’s Full Bio

Regional Director of Medicolegal Death Investigators

Chief Forensic Investigator Brett Harding

Agency: District 5 Medical Examiner’s Office, Florida
Phone: (352) 326-5964

Brett Harding began his career in Medicolegal Death Investigation in 1988 when he joined Florida’s District 21 Medical Examiner’s Office as a Forensic Investigator. In 1990 he entered the field of organ transplantation where he received critical care and surgical training followed by a year of clinical research. He returned to Medicolegal Death Investigation in 1997, successfully becoming a registered Medicolegal Death Investigator and then one of the first Board Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator’s in the State of Florida. Brett went on to serve on the both the Advisory Council and the Board of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. Mr. Harding currently serves as the Chief Forensic Investigator for Florida’s District 5 Medical Examiner’s Office, where he oversees a staff of 13. He is a member of the Florida Cold Case Advisory Commission, The National Association of Medical Examiner’s Inspection and Accreditation Committee and is on the Advisory Board of both Keiser University and Taylor College.

Specialist Dawn Walker

Event Coordinator

Forensic Science Specialist Dawn Walker

Agency: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
Phone: (727) 580-4062

Forensic Science Specialist Dawn Walker has been with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office since 2001 and in Forensics since 2003. During her career she has worked numerous cases including Human Trafficking, Sexual Batteries, Department Shootings, and Homicides for the Sheriff’s Office as well as for numerous other contract agencies within the county. Dawn is a former member of the Major Case Response Team. In 2012, Dawn was the recipient of the Captain Lou Kubler Award of Excellence for Specialist of the Year, which is the highest award given to Forensic Specialists.

Detective Christopher Lyons

Cold Case Director

Detective Christopher Lyons

Agency: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
Phone: (727) 582-6207

Detective Christopher Lyons is currently a member of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Homicide Unit. He began his career at the Clearwater Police Department where he served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Robbery Unit Detective and then Homicide Unit Detective. He was part of a team of investigators that conducted a reexamination of cold cases at the Clearwater Police Department. Their efforts produced the closure of seven cold cases in a four year period. He retired in 2016 from the Clearwater Police Department and began a second career at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. He was selected as a detective, for the second time, in 2017 when the agency created a full time unit to investigate cold case offenses. The creation of the unit has already resulted in the closure of an armed sexual battery/kidnapping offense that occurred in 1987 that had remained unsolved for nearly 31 years.