Pickaway News Journal

Sat, Apr 29, 2017

DNA links suspect to New Holland bank robbery

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Larry G. Murray

CIRCLEVILLE - A Piketon man has been arrested and is charged with aggravated robbery, kidnapping and theft by the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office after DNA evidence linked him to the scene of a Jan. 21 bank robbery in New Holland.

Larry G. Murray, 38, who most recently resided in Piketon, is currently being held in the Brown County Jail on unrelated charges with a detainer to be transferred to Pickaway County upon his release.

Murray is accused of walking into the Milton Bank, 25 N. Main St., New Holland, about 11:50 a.m. Jan. 21, where he allegedly approached a teller and demanded money at gunpoint, according to Sheriff Robert Radcliff.

DNA from the scene was reportedly matched to Murray by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and led to his ultimate arrest March 12 in Kentucky. Local charges were filed Wednesday by the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office.

According to reports, the investigation began Jan. 21 when employees at Milton Bank reported a white male in his mid-30s wearing a toboggan, sunglasses and a brown jacket walked through the front door of the bank and approached the teller.

The subject reportedly pulled a gun from his pocket, then dropped it and picked it back up before pulling plastic bags from his pocket and handing them to the teller demanding money.

The teller took the bag and began putting money in it from her drawer when the suspect turned to another teller and ordered her to do the same. Both tellers complied, and the suspect then fled the bank with the cash.

A search of the area was conducted by deputies from the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office and Fayette County Sheriff's Office. Evidence was collected, including a plastic bag that had been dropped by the suspect as he fled. The bag was later submitted to BCI for DNA and/or fingerprint examination. Investigators also worked with the FBI to develop leads in the case.

On Feb. 27, BCI reported the plastic bag was examined and did contain DNA for comparison purposes. The evidence was then submitted to CODIS for review, and on March 9, BCI reported a DNA match to Murray.

From that point, Radcliff said, investigators learned Murray was wanted on a warrant from the Brown County Sheriff's Office on charges of robbery, kidnapping and theft.

Pickaway County detectives made contact with the Brown County Sheriff's Office and continued following various leads, eventually learning Murray had a girlfriend who lived at 6335 Mary Ingles Highway, Apt. 3, in Milbourne, Kentucky. On March 12, Lt. Dale Parish, Detective John Strawser and Detective Rex Emrick traveled to that address in an attempt to locate Murray.

While waiting for the arrival of Kentucky State Police before making contact, investigators reported Murray and his girlfriend came out of the residence, got into a pickup truck and sped away when they spotted detectives near the property.

Deputies were unable to follow Murray and requested the Kentucky State Police make a traffic stop on the vehicle, but they were unable to locate it. As detectives met back at the apartment with Kentucky State Police, they were notified Murray and his girlfriend were spotted at Speedway in Alexandria, Kentucky.

As officers approached the Speedway, Detective Emrick received a call from the girlfriend, who put Murray on the phone. He indicated he was not running anymore and would give himself up in the parking lot at Tractor Supply located behind the Speedway store.

Officers responded to the scene, and Murray was taken into custody without incident.

Murray was arrested on the warrant from Brown County and transported to the Campbell County Detention Center in Kentucky. He was then brought back to Ohio and is currently being held in the Brown County Jail.

Once his release is ordered on those charges, the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office will take custody and transport him back to Circleville to face charges in the bank robbery.

"We have not stopped on this since the day of the robbery," Radcliff said. "We have worked on it to some degree every day, from working with the FBI to looking at all the potential evidence at the scene to tracking down leads. This just proves it does pay off. Our detectives kept working and did a great job following the leads and making the connections to finally track him down in Kentucky."

Radcliff said it is unknown how soon Murray will be transferred to Pickaway County to face his charges here. In the meantime, the case remains under investigation.

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