Acting on a phone tip, police arrested a 33-year-old Salisbury man yesterday and charged him with murder in the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old college student at Salisbury Mall.
David Anthony Boyd, a worker at a poultry processing plant, was arrested at his apartment in the 1300 block of North Salisbury Boulevard at 10 a.m. after a short foot chase, according to Capt. Jeff Livingston of the Salisbury police. Several weapons were confiscated.
Mr. Boyd was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Heather Miller, a freshman at Salisbury State University.
Ms. Miller, who had gone to the mall with friends Monday night, was stabbed to death in a woman's restroom there.
Yesterday at the family home in Glenshaw, Pa., her father, Richard A. Miller, said: "I just pray that if he's the one who did this, they put him away forever so he can't do this to someone else. . . . He destroyed so many lives by murdering that beautiful girl."
The arrest of Mr. Boyd was the result of "just following up some leads that were called in from the public," Captain Livingston said. He said Salisbury police had received hundreds of phone tips since the crime was reported.
Police released a composite sketch earlier in the week of a man seen leaving the area where Miss Miller was attacked. A reward of $11,000 was offered for information leading to a conviction in the case.
An anonymous caller supplied police with Mr. Boyd's name after seeing the drawing; the tip just happened to be one of the first on the stack of tips for police to pursue, Captain Livingston said.
The department had eight officers working on the case full time, putting in 14-20-hour days this week, Captain Livingston said.
Police emphasized that despite the arrest, the investigation was not over.
Two people, a woman and a girl, who may have witnessed the slaying have not yet come forward despite public pleas from investigators. Police said earlier that testimony from the two could be critical to any prosecution of the case.
"We are asking them to still please come forward," Captain Livingston said.
Mr. Boyd was also charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed weapon. He was denied bail last night and was being held at the Wicomico County Detention Center.
News of the arrest was greeted with relief on the campus of Salisbury State University, where Miss Miller had just begun attending classes.
"It will put a lot of minds at rest on campus," university spokesman Gains Hawkins said. "But the sadness will be with us forever."
The university will hold a memorial service at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a courtyard behind University Center. University President Thomas E. Bellavance and several students who knew Ms. Miller will speak at the service.
Ms. Miller was buried yesterday at Mount Royal Cemetery in Glenshaw, a suburb of Pittsburgh, after services at the Glenshaw Presbyterian Church.