Man arrested in Ohio mother's slaying

January 5, 2009 10:52:10 AM PST
A 22-year-old man was arrested in the shooting death of a woman whose 4-year son was abducted and left unharmed at a highway rest area, authorities said Monday. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Charlie W. Myers of Columbus was taken into custody in the slaying of Jennifer Nelson of Dayton, found dead in her home Friday, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said.

Myers confessed to involvement in the case, Plummer said. He didn't elaborate. Investigators were looking at several possible motives, including robbery, he said.

Myers was arrested on a warrant for aggravated murder, according to a spokesman with the Franklin County jail in Columbus. There was no information on whether he had an attorney.

A car police believe was the getaway vehicle was found Sunday in a parking lot in Columbus, some 75 miles from Dayton. Myers was one of three people the FBI took into custody Sunday evening at a house near Ohio State University in Columbus, Plummer said.

He said authorities are still questioning one other person, but declined to give detail.

Plummer would not say how authorities found Myers. He said a possible murder weapon has been located. Plummer said he believed Myers was the only intruder at Nelson's house and that Myers dropped little William Nelson off at an Interstate 70 rest stop in central Ohio.

William was found Friday by Mike and Judith McConnell, a couple from Maryland who said they took him into their warm vehicle and contacted authorities.

They said he told them a strange man had entered the home and shot his mother. His account to authorities, including his home address and parents' names, led to the discovery of Nelson's body.

"I began asking him questions, and he told me that a stranger had come into his house without knocking," Mike McConnell told NBC from Baltimore. "And I said 'Well, where was your mommy?' And he said 'He shot my mommy."'

Nelson's husband, Eddie Nelson, was at work at the time she was slain.

On NBC's "Today" on Monday, Eddie Nelson said his son was "still terrified. I don't know that he fully understands what's going on. He's just in total shock right now."

Explaining how the little boy was able to give specific information to authorities, Nelson said: "He's a very sharp kid. He's like a sponge, he just soaks everything up. My wife, especially, insisted that we work on him learning his address, learning the phone numbers, just important things ... a lot of things people would take for granted, and it saved him."

Vickie Nelson, the boy's grandmother, said earlier that her son Eddie's car had been stolen in Columbus about a week and a half before Christmas.

She said she believed the person who stole the car obtained personal information about where the Nelsons live.

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