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Ridgely woman charged in murder

Ridgely woman charged in murder
A Lake County woman has been arrested and charged in the death of a Ridgely man whose body was found Thursday.

Melissa Blackburn Newsom, 37, has been taken into custody on charges of vehicular homicide and burglary of a motor vehicle, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The charges stem from the death of 69-year-old Charles McElyea, whose body was found by a group of state prison laborers about 11 a.m. Thursday at the old city dump, located on Harrell Street in Ridgely. His body was sent to Nashville for autopsy.

The TBI, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and the Ridgely Police Department all worked the case simultaneously, resulting in the suspect’s arrest.

Ms. Newsom, who was arrested less than 48 hours after McElyea’s body was discovered, has a lengthy criminal history and is well known to several law enforcement agencies. She and the victim were “known associates,” the TBI reported.

A 2000 model red Ford Ranger truck was discovered within the Ridgely city limits and was linked to the killing. It had been abandoned and was located near the corner of Dillard and Church streets. The truck was sent to the TBI’s crime lab in Nashville to be processed for evidence.

No specific details about the crime have been disclosed by authorities.

Ms. Newsom is being held in the Lake County Jail.

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