OAK PARK (WWJ) – A suspect has been arrested in the death of a 23-year-old Detroit woman who was reported missing after arranging a date with a man she’d met online.
Police in Oak Park told reporters Thursday night that two people were in custody in the death of Cynthia Worthy. However, Detroit Police Chief James Craig spoke somewhat reluctantly about the case Friday morning, saying only one suspect is under arrest.READ MORE: What Is The Best Sunscreen For Me? Environmental Working Group Releases Annual Guide
“I know that whoever’s the source from Oak Park put out that we had two in custody — that is inaccurate. We have one person,” said Craig. “Unfortunately, it was never our intent to talk about this case because we’re very early into the investigation. It is factual, we have a suspect in custody, and that’s only because of the Oak Park Police Department — who was advised by our detectives not to disclose anything. So, we’re not prepared to give you details.”
Worthy’s body was found Monday in an alley off the Davison near Dexter on Detroit’s east side, three days after she had been reported missing. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she died of multiple stab wounds to the chest.
Craig said the investigation ended up in Oak Park after they located a vehicle connected to Worthy through OnStar.
“After finding the car, the next step was to find a suspect. And that was a car that we located in Oak Park and that was the connection. We properly notified the Oak Park Police Department that we were involved in a murder investigation in their jurisdiction and that we were going to recover the car,” he said. “And again, we advised the Oak Park Police Department, it was a lieutenant I believe who was staffing the desk at night, to not disclose any information on this case because it would undermine the investigation.”
Craig said investigators are “not certain” when exactly Worthy might have been killed. He also declined to give further details about the suspect.
“We are still in the preparation phase of giving this case over to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, so until that’s done and charges are filed, there’s not a lot to say. We are very much in the middle of this investigation,” he said.READ MORE: Parole Denied For Don Miller Who Killed 4 Women In Lansing In The 1970s
Craig did, however, give credit to the team responsible for apprehending the suspect.
“I want to just acknowledge the team behind me. This is Homicide Squad Three, who worked diligent from the time of this murder and in less than 72 hours have been able to identify a suspect in the murder,” he said. “I want to applaud their hard and diligent work.”
Police earlier said Worthy was last seen at her home in the 3200 block of Cortland on the afternoon of Aug. 14. Worthy’s family said she left and was supposed to meet with a man she had met through Backpage.com, which carries personal ads for people looking for sex — often for pay.
Chief Craig declined to say if the website was directly involved in Worthy’s murder or if the suspect is the same man she had arranged to meet.
“I can say that the victim, while it is know that she has a connection to Backpage, there were other social media sites,” he said. “I can’t go into the detail as to what sites and the connection the suspect may or may not have had to those sites. We’re still working through that.”
This isn’t the first time Backpage.com has been linked to a murder case in metro Detroit. In April, 2014, a Sterling Heights man was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted in the deaths of four young women whom he met on the website. Their bodies were all found in car trunks in Detroit.
Craig gave a stern warning to any suspects who are prowling social media sites, looking for possible victims.
“We will find you. There’s no hiding places in the internet. We’ll find you,” he said. “Our investigators do a thorough job and, as you can see, in less than 72 hours I can at least say that we’ve identified a suspect.”MORE NEWS: Michigan Court Seeks More From Whitmer About Abortion Ban Challenge
The investigation is ongoing.