A Florida man is accused of killing the woman found dead in the Ocmulgee River in Telfair County on the Fourth of July.
Joshua Lamar Helton, 25, of Plant City, was arrested just before midnight Friday after authorities tentatively identified the victim as 64-year-old Judy Larue Murrow of Tampa, according to a news release from the Telfair County Sheriffs Office.
Sheriff Chris Steverson said they knew they were investigating a homicide as soon as her body was retrieved Thursday morning after fishermen spotted her near the Jacksonville Bridge boat landing.
Cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, Steverson said Saturday afternoon.Murrow has no known previous connection to Telfair County, the release stated.
Additional evidence gathered around Telfair County helped tie Helton to the crime, Steverson said.
The sheriff praised the efforts of his investigators, the Ben Hill County Sheriffs Office and the GBI in working through the night Thursday to learn more about the victim.
DNA analysis will still be needed to confirm her identity due to the state of decomposition of the body, which Steverson believes was dumped in the water Monday or Tuesday.
The sheriff credited the relentless and diligent efforts of investigators for the speedy arrest.
Its satisfying to know that we got this guy picked up, Steverson said.