Tenn. authorities arrest suspect in Balto. Co. killing

April 28, 1995|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,Sun Staff Writer

A 33-year-old handyman sought in the Sept. 30 killing of Debra Anne Goodwich at her parents' Green Spring Valley home was arrested yesterday morning in Knoxville, Tenn., after a tip alerted police to his whereabouts.

Wallace Dudley Ball, who was indicted Monday by a Baltimore County grand jury on a first-degree murder charge, was arrested at 4:30 a.m. at the home of an acquaintance after trying to escape by jumping out of a window, police said.

Mr. Ball was captured by two officers who were waiting outside the window, said Foster Arnett, a Knoxville Police Department spokesman.

Baltimore County police detectives William Cordwell and Carroll Bollinger flew to Knoxville later in the day to question Mr. Ball and begin extradition proceedings.

Cpl. Kevin B. Novak, a county police spokesman, said a Tennessee resident who found out that Mr. Ball might be wanted in the Baltimore area called the Knoxville police, who in turn sent an inquiry to authorities here.

"We found out he had been staying in Knoxville for several weeks and was employed as a roofer. So we called Knoxville and they sent out their team to make the arrest," Corporal Novak said.

Police would not comment yesterday on the source of the tip, citing threats allegedly made by the suspect to a number of people involved in the case.

Police said Mr. Ball's name had surfaced in the beginning of the investigation, but he only became a serious suspect in recent weeks after a number of sources provided new information.

Police said Mr. Ball and Miss Goodwich, 19, met while he was doing roofing repairs last spring at her parents' home in the 7900 block of Greenspring Ave. in the Stevenson area.

Although Miss Goodwich had moved to an apartment in Baltimore three weeks before she was killed, police said she frequently spent time at her parents' home. It was in a visit there to pick up her mail that she apparently interrupted a burglary.

After a brief struggle, Miss Goodwich was shot several times in the chest, police said. Arlene Goodwich later found her daughter's body in the living room. The house had been ransacked, the telephone and alarm lines cut, and several hundred dollars and some jewelry were taken, police said.

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