Arrest Made In Maggie Daniels Case
NEWTON, N.C. (AP) — A clump of hair missing from a man who lived in the same apartment complex as a slain educator helped them close in on him as a suspect, Newton Police Chief Donald Brown said.
Then, a selfie taken by 34-year-old Sharman Odom the day the victim died with a fresh scratch on his face gave officers confidence he was the killer, Brown said at a news conference Monday.
Over the weekend, police arrested Odom and charged him with murder in the death of 31-year-old Maggie Daniels.
Daniels’ body was found June 28 in her Newton apartment. Brown said investigators think Daniels fought back when Odom attacked her in her unlocked apartment the day before, leading to the lost clump of hair and the scratch on his nose and below his eye that officers found Friday in pictures from his smartphone taken the day police think Daniels was killed.
The police chief didn’t give a motive for the killing, but said tests to see if Daniels was sexually assaulted are still pending.
While Odom and Daniels lived in the same apartment complex, Brown said there was no evidence so far that showed they knew each other.
Odom appeared in court, but said little Monday. Odom’s lawyer said he is confused and scared.
Television footage from outside the courtroom showed a woman identified as his mother try to knock the microphone out of one reporter’s hands and shove a camera into another person’s face.
Brown said Odom first became a suspect when he was one of 150 people they initially interviewed after she died. An investigator noted the clump of missing hair, linking it to evidence at the scene that Daniels had fought her attacker. On Friday, police got a search warrant for Odom’s apartment and searched his iPhone, finding the selfies. He was arrested the next day.
Daniels was hired as a high school English teacher by Newton-Conover City Schools in 2006 and became a guidance counselor last year after completing her master’s degree. She was the school system’s teacher of the year in 2011.
“The impact of Maggie’s murder will be felt for some time because of her relationship with her students and co-workers at Discovery High,” Brown said.
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