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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
   (Delray Beach Police Department)

(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.

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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