He Went For a Job, Got Charged With Murder

Fingerprints submitted by Todd Barket link him to 1998 Florida slaying
By Richard Kemeny,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2019 10:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – A decades-old cold case may have been solved after the suspect applied for a job. More than 20 years after a woman was murdered in South Florida, police have arrested a man they think is the killer. Todd Barket, 51, submitted his prints to a potential employer, which matched ones found at the crime scene in Delray Beach, reports NBC Miami. Barket is now in custody and charged with the first-degree murder of 68-year-old Sondra Better in August 1998. Better was working alone at a consignment highway shop and was stabbed and beaten to death. Blood and prints were left at the scene, but no arrests were made.

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Both fingerprints and DNA matched that of Barket, authorities say. He had applied for a job that required prints for a background check, and they matched those left on a decorative marble ball found near the murdered woman, reports the Tampa Bay Times. “We had fingerprints, we had blood, we even had a possible description from a witness," said Police Chief Javaro Sims. “But the person responsible for this heinous case seemed to just disappear.” Better was murdered just days before she was to retire and go on a trip with her husband to renew their wedding vows. Police didn't speculate about a motive, but a witness recalled seeing a man matching Barket's description talking with her about buying a couch before she was killed. (Read more cold cases stories.)

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