Arrest in Charles County Cold Case

Arrest in the Murder of Chris Mader

By Aaron Gilchrist
|  Thursday, Oct 28, 2010  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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Arrest in Charles County Cold Case

A big break in a cold case has brought closure to a family who lost their son on Thanksgiving Day six years ago.

Thursday morning, the Charles County sheriff announced an arrest as the family of Chris Mader gathered around investigators holding his pictures.

"Every family thinks it would never happen to your child and it did," said Samantha Payne, Chris' mother. "And it destroyed our family. It changed our life."

It was early Thanksgiving morning, 2004. Mader, 23, left his job at a Bennigan's restaurant and was headed home.

Detectives say Chris was shot in the head before his car slammed into a utility box on Smallwood Drive in Waldorf. He died at the scene.

"We never stopped working on this case," said Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey. "We never stopped thinking about it. It never left our plate."

Sheriff Coffey assigned cold case detectives to Mader's murder in 2007, after getting a telephone tip. Coffey wouldn't go into detail, but he said more tips developed in the past year. Those tips led to the arrest of Matthew Derek Correll, 29, at his home in King George, Va., last Friday.

Correll was brought back to Charles County Thursday morning. Correll's motive was robbery, said detectives.

Since Mader's death, his family has moved out of Charles County. They stopped celebrating Thanksgiving because their son -- an aspiring sportscaster who left Pennsylvania to take care of his sick mother -- was no longer at the table.

Following the arrest of a suspect, Mader's mother said the family has found closure.

"My son is here in spirit and he's well-rest[ed] today knowing that this has been done,” said Payne.

A grand jury has indicted Matthew Correll on six counts including attempted robbery and first-degree murder. He's being held without bond.

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