Trayvon Martin’s grey hoodie has become arguably one of the most iconic pieces of evidence used in a criminal case. Now that a verdict has been rendered in the George Zimmerman trial, the evidence goes back to the Sanford Police Department and, eventually, to its rightful owner. But what does that mean for Martin’s hoodie?
Sanford Police Captain Jim McAuliffe says personal property of a person who has passed away usually goes to his or her estate. But since Martin died when he was only 17 years old, he likely didn’t have a will. According to Florida’s law of intestate succession, when someone dies without a spouse or descendants, the parents of the deceased inherit everything.
McAuliffe says it is up to Martin's parents to claim their son’s belongings if they want them.
To do so, McAuliffe says Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin would need to put in a request with Sanford police to receive the hoodie and any other personal property of their son's. After they receive an official disposition from the State Attorney’s office via certified mail, they have 60 days to pick up Martin’s items.
So far, the Sanford Police Department has not received any requests from either Zimmerman or Martin’s families to retrieve their belongings, McAuliffe says.
Because the jury acquitted Zimmerman of all charges, and the case isn’t subject to any appeals, there are no holds on the evidence from the trial. However, according to McAuliffe, items that go unclaimed will be destroyed.
But McAuliffe doesn't expect Martin's hoodie to meet this fate. “I believe an item like that will be picked up by the family,” he says.