Suspect in 1995 killing gives up

Police say DNA links man to death of Shore woman

He surrenders in Anne Arundel

Bail is set at $500,000 in Somerset County

August 10, 2004|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A convicted sex offender who police say has been linked by DNA to an 8 1/2 -year-old Eastern Shore killing surrendered to police in Anne Arundel County yesterday.

Tonto Sylvester Corbin, 42, formerly of the 100 block of Crockett Ave. in Fruitland in Wicomico County, turned himself in at 6 a.m. That was nearly three days after he placed a call from Brooklyn Park to a Maryland State Police investigator to say that he would come in. When he did not do so Saturday, police began a manhunt, said Maj. Greg Shipley, spokesman for the state police.

Anne Arundel County police said Corbin went to the front counter of the Northern District police station, which is the closest police office to Brooklyn Park, and said he was wanted. Police described him as cooperative.

Corbin was taken later in the morning by Maryland State Police to Somerset County, where a grand jury had indicted him Thursday on a charge of first-degree murder. His bail had been set at $500,000, Shipley said.

Corbin is accused of killing Jacqueline Rogers Tilghman, 32, of Princess Anne on Dec. 27, 1995, in Marion. Her body, naked from the waist down, was found along a dirt lane off Marumsco Road by trappers in an area that Shipley described as remote. She had been beaten and strangled.

State police in Princess Anne began the investigation into the killing, but exhausted their leads without an arrest.

"It is something that has remained unsolved all this time," Shipley said. "Now her family has some answers."

The case was picked up in 2000 by Sgt. Jack McCauley, a homicide investigator with the state police cold case unit, Shipley said. Cold case DNA "hits," or matches, increasingly come through the state and federal DNA databanks, but this one did not.

Over three years, McCauley developed Corbin as the primary suspect, Shipley said. He obtained a warrant to take a sample of Corbin's DNA this year, and Corbin's genetic material matched DNA from the crime scene, Shipley said. He would not specify the nature of the DNA evidence.

The victim and Corbin were acquaintances, Shipley said.

Corbin is listed on the state's sex offender registry in the category of child-sexual offender.

He completed an 18-month jail sentence for statutory rape after he had sexual relations with a teenager and had a daughter with her, said Kristy D. Hickman, assistant state's attorney for Somerset County. He was still on probation when he turned himself in yesterday, Hickman said.

He was released from jail in February, Hickman said.

Records indicate that Corbin had previously lived in the Princess Anne and Crisfield areas.

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