DNA Links Man to 14-Year-Old's 1996 Death

Prince George's County police arrest man in slaying

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. -- A man has been arrested in connection with the 1996 slaying of a 14-year-old girl.

Nia Owens was found strangled outside Northwestern High School in Hyattsville. She had been sexually assaulted, police said.

Prince George's County police say they have arrested a man in the death of a 14-year-old girl who was killed more than a dozen years ago.

Matthew Bethea, 32, of Glenarden, faces first-degree murder and first-degree assault charges, officials said Wednesday.

Owens was on her way from the Prince George's Plaza Metro Station to school on Nov. 19, 1996, but she never reported to class, police said. Her body was found the next morning in a wooded area near the school.

DNA evidence links Bethea to the case, police said. Investigators got the DNA link in 2005 but waited to gather more evidence before arresting Bethea. Another arrest is possible.

Bethea is under investigation for other possible sex offenses, according to Prince George's County police.

Court records show an arrest warrant was issued for Bethea May 13. His preliminary court hearing is set for June 16.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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