A tenant of 82-year-old Lucille Moore is being charged with her murder after a cigarette butt and other DNA evidence linking him to the crime were found by police.
Chad Bennett, 25, of Ephrata, was charged with first-degree murder this week and is being held in Grant County Jail under a $1 million bond.
Police arrested Bennett on Tuesday after they received DNA evidence processed by the state Crime Lab.
That evidence shows blood from Bennett was found on a pillow placed on Moore’s head and a kitchen cabinet.
Never miss a local story.
His DNA was also found on a cigarette butt 6 to 8 feet from her body, according to the police report.
Bennett told police he went to Moore’s house three times the day before she was found murdered, to pay his rent, pay a remainder of a damage deposit and retrieve his wallet, according to his statements to police. During a two-hour interview with police, Bennett said Moore was a kind lady who never had a bad thing to say about anybody, according to the police report.
He said he moved into a rental that Moore managed the previous month after he left his current house because his daughter was allegedly molested by another person, according to the police report.
He said God brought Moore into his life when he needed help the most, according to police.
After talking with Moore’s friend and neighbors and looking at her caller identification, they determined Bennett was the last person to see Moore alive, according to court documents.
A friend and neighbor found Moore in her home in a pool of blood on Sept. 8 and called police.
When they arrived they found multiple stab wounds on her body and requested an autopsy to determine how she died, according to court documents.
The autopsy determined she was stabbed at least 17 times in the heart and throat, and suffered a broken jaw and multiple head wounds, according to the police report.