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A fourth person has been arrested in connection with the grisly March killing of a Maryland carpenter whose body was found burning in West Virginia.
Jonathan Riddle was found stabbed, beaten and then set on fire in Jefferson County on Mar. 18, the Carroll County Times reports. Three Maryland men — David R. Sanford Jr., 26, John W. Black III, 22, and Monroe Merrell, 22 — were recently charged with first-degree kidnapping and murder in Riddle's death. Sanford and Merrell, both from Westminster, were arrested April 10 and April 15, respectively. Merrell was captured in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Black, of Taneytown, was arrested Monday. Black has been additionally charged with conspiring to commit first-degree murder.
Now, a fourth person has been added to that list. Emily Day, 27, was arrested Friday, according to a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office press release provided to Oxygen.com.
"She has been charged with being an accessory before and after the fact involving the murder of Jonathan Riddle," the press release states. She is currently awaiting a hearing to determine if she will be extradited to West Virginia.
Charging documents allege that Riddle went to Sanford’s home in Westminster on March 17 to meet with his friend, Heather Grogg, the Carroll County Times reports. An informant allegedly told investigators that Merrell began fighting with Riddle, and instructed Sanford to stab him. Multiple people were allegedly present during the violence, which ultimately led to Riddle being restrained and stabbed again. Investigators believe he was then transported to West Virginia where he was stabbed yet again and ultimately set on fire.
Grogg and Danielle Tyler — the 18-year-old girlfriend of Merrell — have been missing since April 6. Maryland State Police spokesperson Greg Shipley told the Carroll County Times that they are “considered to be critically missing and in danger" but he wouldn't specify why. FBI Pittsburgh has declined to speak to Oxygen.com about the events.
Grogg’s sister Brandie Hebb told Oxygen.com that Day, the latest suspect, is dating Sanford. She said Grogg was the live-in babysitter for Sanford and Day’s children. Sanford is the godfather of Hebb’s daughter.
“I worry that maybe if she [Grogg] witnessed this or if she knows too much, that’s why she’s in critical danger,” Hebb told Oxygen.com on Thursday. “It’s not like her to drop off the face of the earth.”
All four suspects are being held without bond. It’s not clear if they have lawyers who can speak on their behalf.
Diana Denrich Riddle, the murder victim's wife, told Oxygen.com that her slain husband was a “talented carpenter” who had dreams of starting his own business. They wed in 2018 and he became a stepfather to her children.
“He absolutely loved my children and treated them as his own,” she said.
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