Florida authorities say “new evidence” has led to the arrest of a Texas inmate in the cold case killing of a woman who went missing in 2004 before her body was discovered in Texas the next year.
Terry McDonald, 39, a convicted murderer, faces second-degree murder charges in connection with the slaying of 28-year-old Mary Elizabeth Mount.
According to ABC7, McDonald had long been a suspect in Mount’s death.
“I’m extremely proud of the long hours — hard hours — put into this case by the cold case homicide division and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, allowing us to charge McDonald with the murder of Mary,” Amira D. Fox, State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit of Florida, said at a press conference Monday. “This is a case that none of us have ever given up on.”
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The arrest came about after Florida’s newly-formed State Attorney’s Office Cold Case Homicide Division was asked by Fox to “help bring resolution to Mary’s case,” according to a press release from the state attorney’s office.
“The team has been working diligently with the accumulated evidence and recently traveled to Arizona and then to Texas where McDonald is incarcerated for another crime,” the release states. “The team was able to obtain new evidence culminating in an arrest in partnership with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.”
According to FOX4, McDonald was seen with Mount before she disappeared on Jan. 5, 2004 and later took El Paso police to the location where her body was.
At a press conference Monday, Mount’s brother Steve Knapp spoke about his family’s long wait for justice.
“This has been a long road to justice, almost 15 years in the making,” he said, according to the Fort Myers News-Press. “My family has kept faith that one day Mary would get justice, and today that day has come. Sadly, for my mother, who is no longer with us, would have relished this moment to finally get the truth.”
At the time of his arrest, McDonald was serving a life sentence for strangling a man in Texas in 2008, ABC7 reports.
McDonald was extradited Monday. He is due in a Florida court on Oct. 28.
It was not immediately clear if he has a lawyer who could comment on the charges against him.