A note found in the pocket of a former model who was found shot dead and left on the side of a Pennsylvania interstate has led investigators to her suspected killer, state police said.
Tracy Ray Rollins, Jr., 28, was arrested Wednesday in the death of 47-year-old Rebecca Landrith, whose body was found along an off-ramp at mile marker 199 on Interstate 80 East, according to a statement from the Pennsylvania State Police obtained by Oxygen.com.
Landrith’s body was discovered early Sunday morning by a PennDOT worker, according to the PhillyVoice.
Rollins, a truck driver from Dallas, is now facing charges of homicide and abuse of a corpse in her death, PennLive reports.
The former model, who once worked in New York and had been a finalist for Miss Manhattan in 2014, had been shot multiple times in the face, neck and chest. A medical examiner later removed 18 bullets from her body, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the news outlet.
Police discovered a note inside the pocket of her leather jacket that had Rollins’ name, phone number and email address, as well as some receipts, authorities said.
Using Rollins’ cell phone records and the receipts, they were able to trace the truck driver’s route from Wisconsin to Maine — noting a nearly half-hour-long stop late Saturday night near the Mile Run interchange in Pennsylvania, which is near where Landrith’s body was discovered, the affidavit states.
Police obtained a warrant for Rollins’ arrest and he was apprehended Wednesday in Connecticut by members of both the Connecticut and Pennsylvania State Police, authorities said.
Police first noticed what appeared to be bleach and cleaning solution inside the truck. They would later uncover flesh and brain-like matter on the bottom bunk mattress in the truck’s cab, according to the affidavit.
Investigators also found six 9 mm shell casings on the vehicle’s front floorboard and on the floorboard behind the passenger seat, as well as bullet strikes in the rear wall behind the passenger seat, officials said.
Rollins told investigators he did not know Landrith or recognize her picture. However, he did tell authorities that he’s picked up a woman named Leslie — a name Landrith had used in the past — who he said he had met at a truck stop in Milford, Connecticut and that the pair had traveled together for some time, the affidavit states. Rollins allegedly said the two drove to Maine, back to Connecticut, then to Brooklyn before making their way to Wisconsin, where he picked up a load that needed to be brought to Maine.
Investigators said in the affidavit that before they ever revealed that was the nature of their case, Rollins referred to the case as a “murder investigation” while they questioned him about his trip.
“I hate to start lying to you ‘cause this is a murder investigation,” Rollins allegedly said.
Landrith’s brother, George Landrith, told the news outlet that he was “relieved” authorities had made an arrest in the case.
“Her family loved her dearly,” he said. “None of this brings her back. It is important she receives justice.”
According to her iStudio page, Landrith had worked as a professional fashion model and appeared in numerous product advertisements, video commercials, magazines and runway shows. It also described the Virginia native as having a “warm heart” and being an accomplished violinist.
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