FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A murder charge has been filed in the death of a woman whose body was found in a Cass Street home late last month.
Cordell D. Patterson, Jr., 22, stands accused of killing then robbing 33-year-old Laura Elizabeth Larkin. Larkin's body was found Nov. 26 inside a home in the 2400 block of Cass Street.
An autopsy showed she had been strangled to death, and her death was ruled a homicide.
According to a probably cause affidavit filed in Allen Superior Court, Larkin's body was found by a friend who said she was checking on her. She found her body at the top of a staircase.
Later, a witness called Fort Wayne Police and said Patterson had been at her home when she read a news story about the case and he began "rocking and 'acting strange,'" the affidavit said. That witness said Patterson then got up and called his mother in Mississippi and said he wanted to visit her because "I did something bad and I hurt someone," the affidavit said.
Police then spoke with the son of that witness. He said he was a long-time friend of Patterson who was with Patterson at The Pantry on North Wells Street the night of Nov. 25 when they met two women - Larkin and the woman who found her body. The man said Patterson and Larkin eventually left the bar together, with Patterson having pledged to have sex with her, the affidavit said.
The man said he saw Patterson the next day and he was "acting strange," and said he took Larkin's Mercedes and left it somewhere. The man said Patterson then admitted, "I think I killed that b----," according to the affidavit.
The man said Patterson told him he had sex with Larkin then tried to rob her, but "she was was not trying to let him rob her," so he put a rope around her neck and strangled her, according to the affidavit. Patterson told the man Larkin then fell down the stairs, but he picked her up and laid her in bed, the affidavit said.
Patterson told the man that Larkin was "not really breathing" when he left the home with her car and credit cards. He said he used a credit card at a gas station to get $20, parked the car near Lillie Street then threw away the car's keys and Larkin's cards at an Anthony Boulevard home, the affidavit said.
Police found the Mercedes on Nov. 27.
Patterson was identified out of a photo array by three witnesses, the affidavit said.
Patterson was arrested in Oxford, Mississippi on Saturday, Dec. 8 by federal law enforcement. He was arraigned on the Murder and Robbery charges on Thursday in Allen Superior Court.
He's being held without bond.