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Vandalized former meth house still standing, neighbors outraged

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Updated: 10/22/2013 8:35 pm
MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- The house on 4874 Alligator Blvd. has been a meth lab, the scene of a deadly shooting and now it has been vandalized by racist graffiti.

For neighbor Adriana Rodriguez, even before the hate symbols covered the front of the house, the building served as a constant reminder of a memory she'd like to forget.

"Every day I look at that house passing by here and I think, 'God that awful family that has to go through that,'" said Rodriguez.

According to investigators the man whose name appears spray-painted on the walls, Ted Tilley, killed Clay County Detective David White during a drug bust.

While investigators search for whoever is responsible for the graffiti, neighbors want to know why the culprit had a canvas to begin with.

"Why don't they just go ahead and tear it down? There's no reason for that house to be there at all," said Sam Gil.

"It's a bad image to look at every day passing by. It's disrespectful," said Rodriguez.

Clay County Attorney Mark Scruby said it's not that simple. He said he's not aware of any local statute that would allow the condemnation of a home previously used as a meth lab.

If the foreclosed home was to be demolished, they'd have to go through state law. Despite calls from neighbors to get rid of the eyesore, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said its hands are tied until the investigation is over.

Scruby said even if there was an ordinance allowing the county to condemn the home, because there is an ongoing investigation any possibility of tearing it down would likely have to wait.

Action News found out Duval County does have a municipal code that allows it to condemn a structure as unsafe after the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the Fire Department confirm it's being used for drugs. St. Johns County has a similar ordinance.

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