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Arrest In 1990 Cold Case Murder That Victim's Grandkids Started Podcast About Gives Family ‘Renewed Hope’

Michael DeVaughn has been arrested on capital murder and sexual battery charges for the 1990 Labor Day murder of Betty Jones, 65, and Katherine Crigler, 81.

By Gina Tron

After nearly three decades of no leads, there's been an arrest in the case of the Labor Day murders of two elderly women in Mississippi - killings that have been the subject of a podcast created by one of the victim's grandchildren. 

Michael DeVaughn, 51, was arrested on capital murder and sexual battery charges on Saturday by Mississippi’s Starkville Police Department in connection with the 1990 murders of Betty Jones, 65, and Katherine Crigler, 81.

“While each person in our family is still processing the recent developments in their own time, we can all agree on feeling a sense of relief and renewed hope,” Jason B. Jones, Betty Jones’ step-grandson told Oxygen.com on Tuesday. “Someone will finally answer for taking away the irreplaceable.”

Jason was 11 and his brother 3 when Betty was killed. The brothers launched the podcast “Knock, Knock”on Sept. 3, 2017, which was the 27th anniversary of their step-grandmother’s death.  

Betty was visiting her friend Crigler’s home when a man knocked and Jones opened the door. The man entered and killed Jones before raping and injuring Crigler, according to WTVA in Tupelo, Ohio. Crigler, whose leg had already been amputated before the assault, died from her injuries months later, according to the Clarion Ledger in Mississippi.

DeVaughn was linked to the attack through a DNA match, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Betty Jones’ grandchildren made sure her legacy lived on through their podcast, which was seven episodes long and featured chats with investigators, DNA experts, family members and people who knew the victims. Even though it renewed interest in the cold case, Jason doesn’t credit it for the arrest of DeVaughn.

“Zero credit goes to our podcast for the apprehension of this suspect,” he told WTVA. “One hundred percent of the credit goes to the Starkville Police Department."

If convicted of capital murder, DeVaughn will face death or life in prison. If convicted of sexual battery, he could face up to 30 years behind bars. He was arraigned Monday and his bond has been set at $11 million. It's unclear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.

He was arrested over the summer for alleged meth possession, according to WTVA.

[Photos: Provided, Starksville Police Department]