NBC4 Report Leads to Cold Case Arrest

Public identifies woman in video

By Jim Iovino and Pat Collins
|  Tuesday, Nov 24, 2009  |  Updated 8:07 PM EDT
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New Clue in High Profile Murder Case

NBCWashington.com

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Police Solve 12-Year-Old Murder Mystery

A News4 report leads to an arrest in a high profile, previously unsolved murder case.

New Clue in High Profile Murder Case

DC police hope never before seen video will provide a key clue in a cold case.
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District Police have made an arrest in a high-profile cold case after NBC4 aired enhanced surveillance video of a possible suspect.

Frederick Edward "Butch" Morton, 57, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the 1997 death of Sharon Moskowitz, who was found bound and strangled to death in her Biltmore Street home in the Kalorama area of northwest Washington.  Morton was charged charged with first-degree felony murder.

Police said Morton was already in a federal correctional center in Allenwood, Pa., for a probation violation when a new tip was given to police after someone saw reporter Pat Collins' update in October that led to his arrest.

Investigators believe Moskowitz, 25, walked in on a burglary on Jan. 21, 1997, and surprised the burglar, who then bound and strangled her. Police said the suspect then took items from her, including some credit cards. Police said the suspect then went around town and offered to buy whatever they wanted from nearby stores. They said he would charge the items to the credit cards and then sell them to the people at a reduced rate.

Earlier this year police enhanced surveillance video of the alleged suspect in a "PITT" sweatshirt with a woman wearing distinctive glasses. They were shopping in an 8th and O Street Giant grocery store on the night of the murder. After NBC4 aired the report in October, someone recognized the woman in the video and contacted police. From that information, investigators were able to make an arrest.

This was the third in a series of high-profile cold case arrests by District Police within the past two years. The others were the Chandra Levy case and the Shakita Bell case.

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