Terry Lee Black, 41, has been arrested in the death of a Utah girl, 6, who was raped and killed. The suspect broke into the girl’s home through a sliding glass door at night and attacked the girl. Black is a neighbor of the girl and he attends the same church as the family of the girl. Black has been charged with kidnapping, rape of a child and aggravated murder, according to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
The victim, Sierra Newbold, was found by police in West Jordan. West Jordan is roughly 15 miles south of Salt Lake City. The body of Newbold was found on June 26 in a canal close to her home. Newbold was last seen by her mother around 10:30 p.m. the night before. The mother said she noticed the glass door was open and Newbold was not in her bed on the morning of June 26. Officials began searching for Newbold and found her undergarments and pink pajamas in a field not far from her home. Newbold’s body was found floating in the canal face down near her home. The autopsy performed discovered that she was sexually assaulted and strangled. The official cause of death named was drowning.
Authorities said that Black was arrested on June 29 after he robbed a Wells Fargo bank. According to West Jordan Police Chief Douglas Diamond, Black stole a car and drove it to the Wells Fargo bank. Diamond said that when Black exited the bank he attempted to get into the car but was approached by a friend of the owner of the vehicle who was in the parking lot. Black had to flee the scene on foot and was arrested not far from the bank.
Diamond said that alert police officers found out that Black lived in an apartment close to the canal where the girl’s body was discovered. Police also said that debris on Black’s clothing looked similar to debris found in the field where Newbold’s clothing was found. Gil said that the girl’s DNA was found on Black’s body. Diamond described the arrest of Black as ‘divine intervention.’
“This crime could have gone a totally different direction had it not been for (the detective) being able to see beyond the obvious and connect the dots,” Diamond said. “We could have just booked him into jail and never realized he was our murder suspect.”
As of Tuesday, Black was still being held on $2 million bond. It was not immediately known if Black had retained a lawyer yet.