Ned Lee Torrey, 46, of Greenwood, Miss., was a neighbor of Connie McDonald, 58, before she was murdered on or around Oct. 5. Greenwood , population 18,000, is located about 110 miles south of Memphis, Tenn. Torrey was arrested Friday night on U.S. 40, just west of Brazil, near Northview High School during a football game. The lights of several police cars could be seen by some of those attending the game, said Norman Stearley, a Brazil Times associate.
At the time of his arrest, Torrey was driving a car matching the description of a McDonald's silver 1995 Geo Prism. Torrey disappeared around the time McDonald's throat was slashed in her home, said Ken Spencer, chief investigator for the Leflore County, Miss., Sheriff's Department. Spencer was interviewed by The Times on Tuesday morning.
Torrey was arrested and placed in the Clay County Jail pending extradition to his home town. Spencer and Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks plan to pick up Torrey at the Clay County Jail on Wednesday and drive him back to Mississippi to await trial for capital murder, punishable by execution.
Torrey was on parole for a 1974 murder conviction in Florida when he moved to Greenwood, Miss., in 1996. He kept regular appointments with his parole officer in Mississippi until the time McDonald's body was found.
Spencer learned Torrey had been a gardener for the deceased, he did not get along with McDonald, McDonald's automobile and purse were missing following her death and Torrey missed an appointment with his parole officer. That information, plus other evidence, point to Torrey as the murder suspect, Spencer said.
Torrey drove to Indiana from Greenwood, Miss., and was wanted Friday night for driving off without paying for gas at a filling station located at SR 39 and I-70.
When Indiana State Police Trooper Joe Swisher spotted the car Torrey was driving Friday night, he pursued it through Putnam, Clay and Vigo counties, calling for assistance from the Clay County and Vigo County sheriff's departments and the Brazil and Terre Haute city police departments.
The pursuit ended when Torrey's vehicle was stopped on U.S. 40, just west of Brazil. He was kept in the Clay County Jail on a $10,000 cash bond pending extradition to Mississippi.