SUWANEE - Suwanee police said Tuesday they are continuing their investigation into the January murder of an Atlanta woman with the intent to confirm whether or not an Illinois man's confession to the killing holds true.
Suwanee police announced Friday Bruce Mendenhall, 56, a truck driver from Albion Ill., who has been charged with a Nashville, Tenn., killing may be linked to the murder of Debra Ann Glover, 43, whose body was found behind the Motel 6 on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road Jan. 29.
Police Department Spokesman Capt. Clyde Byers said the department sent a detective to Tennessee on Monday to meet with Nashville detectives and discuss Mendenhall's confession of the murder of Glover, 25-year-old Sara Hulbert in Nashville, Tenn., and four other people, including another Nashville woman; women in Indianapolis and Lake Station, Ind., and a person in Birmingham, Ala. Mendenhall was arrested Thursday and charged with Hulburt's murder.
"They went to the FBI's violent crimes data base and saw that we had a murder that sounded like what Mendenhall described," Byers said of how Nashville police pinpointed the Suwanee murder as Mendenhall's confessed crime. "He's saying he did this now but that murder was in January. He could have been in the area and read it in the paper."
Byers said now that the detective has returned, Suwanee investigators will work to determine if Mendenhall's confession is feasible for their murder. Byers said it is up to the department to make sure without a doubt Mendenhall is responsible.
"What I did postulate as how we got picked as Mr. Mendenhall's murder and what led Nashville to us was true," Byers said. "He didn't actually say 'Suwanee.' Detectives said Mendenhall said something like northeast Atlanta or Georgia. What we plan to do now is to get a timeline on him (Mendenhall), see if he was in fact in the area when Ms. Glover was killed and talk with his employer."
Byers said the department is working to collaborate the efforts of both the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's lab to determine if any of the DNA from Glover's clothing can be traced to Mendenhall.
"It may take a while to be honest," Byers said of the investigation process. "Looking over forensic evidence and so forth takes time."