Anonymous Letter Sent To Police Leads To Arrest Of Cold Case Murder Suspect

cold case suspect
Source: Santa Ana Police Department; UNSPLASH

May 5 2022, Published 11:13 a.m. ET

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Authorities took a Texas woman into custody in connection to the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend over 26 years ago.

According to the Santa Ana Police Department in California, investigators received an anonymous letter in January 2020 that implicated Jade Benning, 48, in the murder of her boyfriend, Christopher Harvey.

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On Jan. 4, 1996, Santa Ana officers responded to an apartment after receiving a call claiming a Black man had forced his way into the residence.

Police found 22-year-old Harvey — who, at the time, was living with Benning, also 22 — stabbed multiple time in the upper torso. He eventually died from his injuries.

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“The girlfriend, Jade Benning, made general statements about the incident,” police said in a May 3 statement. “Neighbors heard a loud argument inside the apartment for approximately 15 minutes.”

Despite the lead, the case eventually went cold.

Around five years after her boyfriend was murdered, Benning relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada, and later to Austin, Texas.

“After receiving the letter two years ago, Santa Ana Homicide Cold Case Detective Gibbons examined the case and conducted extensive follow-up,” including forensic testing as well as calling in forensic experts to examine evidence, police said, noting, “Ultimately, sufficient evidence was collected to obtain a criminal complaint, and a $1,000,000 warrant was issued for the arrest of Jade Benning.”

At around 2:20 p.m. on May 3, U.S. Marshalls Lone Star Fugitive Task Force agents arrested Benning near her Austin home, and she was booked into the Travis County jail.

She is expected to be extradited to California to face charges.


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