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Arrest made in 2004 Floyd County murder

Published: Jun. 4, 2009 at 10:39 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2009 at 3:34 PM EDT
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Alyssa Lee (Photo source: William Lee)
Alyssa Lee (Photo source: William Lee)
Antonio Malone (Photo source: Floyd County Prosecutors Office)
Antonio Malone (Photo source: Floyd County Prosecutors Office)

By Maira Ansari - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Five years after the murder of a 24-year-old woman in New Albany, Indiana, there has been a break in the case. A Floyd County grand jury has returned an indictment in the murder of Alyssa Lee.

In 2004, WAVE 3 sat down with William Lee as he tried to make sense of what happened to his daughter.

"She gave me a hug. And she told me she was going to the store. That she would be back and she would see me a little bit later. That was the last time I seen her," said Lee.

Thursday, Lee stood with investigators working Alyssa's case. In May 2004, the young mother was found strangled to death. Her body was discovered in Binford Park.

"Her body had been there for approximately two weeks and decomposed rapidly due to the environmental conditions at the time.  Mainly the heavy rains," said Keith Henderson, the Floyd County prosecutor.

That meant much of the evidence in the case was destroyed. Lee and his family were told that they may never know who killed Alyssa.

"Alyssa was good hearted," said Lee. "She's the type of person if she had five dollars on her, somebody needed it worse than she did she would give it to them."

New Albany Police Det. Steve Bush said he always kept Alyssa's case on his desk hoping one day to figure it all out.

"We just received some information this year that lead us back into the investigation," said Bush. "We were able to bring some of that information before the grand jury."

The grand jury returned an indictment against 31-year-old Antonio Malone, a person believed to be an acquaintance of Alyssa. He is now charged with Alyssa's murder, but Malone was already being held in the Floyd County jail for unrelated charges.

"She didn't deserve to die the way she died," said Lee. "Nobody has that right."

A grand jury in Kentucky has also indicted Malone in a Louisville cold case. During the investigation into Lee's murder, Malone also admitted to murdering 18-year-old Montez Wheeler. His body was found at 26th and Cecilia in the Portland neighborhood.

In a separate case, the Floyd County grand jury also handed up an indictment in a seven-year-old case. 42-year-old Teresa Mason is behind bars and charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter against her husband, Walter Mason.

Henderson says 911 tapes helped in Mason case.

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