Suspect in Murray homicide in custody

Posted at 12:16 PM, Feb 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-07 14:26:40-05

MURRAY, Utah -- Murray police said a man who they believe is connected to the murder of an elderly woman last month is in custody.

Christen Spencer, 49, was arrested on a warrant unrelated to the murder.

Police believe Spencer was driving Shirley Sharp's car, without her permission, when Utah Transit Authority police pulled him over for driving through a bus zone on January 25.

Police said the man they pulled over that morning was behaving strangely during the traffic stop and fled the scene.

Officers gave the license plate number for the vehicle to the Utah Highway Patrol. The car was traced to Sharp's home in Murray.

When officers responded to Sharp's home, they found smoke billowing out of it.

Murray firefighters responded to the scene, and discovered a small fire in one of the rooms.

“[The fire] appeared to be contained in a small area of one room in the house,” said Det. Kenny Bass, Murray City Police Department. “Also in the room was an 85-year-old woman found deceased.”

An autopsy revealed Sharp died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Spencer is being held in the Davis County Jail on a U.S. Marshal's hold. Charges are pending.

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