'Person Of Interest' Identified In Killing

Tuesday, July 31st 2007, 6:17 pm
By: News On 6

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) _ Police have identified a ``person of interest'' in the slaying of an Edmond woman, officers said Tuesday.

Michael Lamont Gary, 36, an Ohio sex offender, was arrested Friday in Akron, for failing to notify authorities there when he changed his address.

Shirley Shell, 67, was found cut and stabbed to death in her home on June 5.

Gary admitted to Ohio police that he used Shell's credit card for more than a month, according to an affidavit by Edmond police detective Richard Woodmansee.

Gary told police he received the card in exchange for a small amount of marijuana at a party in Edmond in early June.

Edmond police have obtained a warrant for his arrest on credit card and stolen property charges.

``This was the result of hundreds of hours of old-fashioned detective work,'' said Edmond police spokeswoman Glynda Chu.

Chu said Shell's daughter, Cindy Shell, was analyzing her mother's credit card statements when she noticed one of the cards was used after her mother's death.

``There were 20 transactions for the month of June, and the first one was at 4:57 a.m. in Tulsa on the day of the murder,'' Chu said. ``From there, we could see this person used the credit card all the way to Ohio.''

By tracking use of the card, investigators obtained some video from some of the gas stations where transactions were made, as well as a photo of him and his car taken at a toll booth on the Will Rogers Turnpike in northeast Oklahoma near the Missouri border.

One of the credit card transactions was in Joplin, Mo., on July 6, according to a police affidavit.

``This is a good break for us in this case, but this is still just a person of interest,'' Chu said. ``We're waiting for the return of blood and fingerprint evidence, and we want to see if any other evidence points to him.''