Murder trial begins without victim's body

October 7, 2008 8:26:06 AM PDT
Prosecutors face a difficult task this week in trying the man accused of murdering a 51-year-old Fort Worth woman. Glenda Gail Furch's body has never been found.

"It's pretty unusual," Tarrant County prosecutor Bob Gill said in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram story. "This is the first one I've handled."

Rodney Owens, 41, is accused of killing Furch, a former neighbor. She has not been seen since Sept. 28, 2007, when she clocked out at midnight from her job at the General Motors plant in Arlington, police said.

Owens is linked to her disappearance by a thumbprint on some duct tape found in a trash bin outside Furch's apartment. Also found in the same trash bag were electrical and telephone cords tied in unusual knots, a towel, clothes and other items belonging to Furch, police said.

In Furch's bedroom, police said, they found a bleach stain and fresh vacuum marks on the carpet. A vacuum cleaner was missing from the apartment.

About a week after she disappeared, Furch's car was found burned at an abandoned car wash, about 1.4 miles from where another car was reported stolen. Owens wrecked that stolen car on Oct. 28, 2007, during a police chase. In the trunk, there was a backpack containing duct tape, a cut electrical cord, surgical gloves, a gun and ammunition, police said.

Owens has pleaded not guilty. During jury selection Monday, defense attorney Mark Rosteet emphasized the state's burden of proving Owens' guilt. Rosteet did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press on Monday.

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