The man who has been identified as a person of interest in the slaying of an 83-year-old woman was seen driving the car that was stolen from the victim’s home, according to testimony Thursday morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Angelo Short, 42, of Phenix City appeared in court on theft by taking motor vehicle and obstruction charges. He was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail after being denied bond on multiple charges.
Police identified Short as a person of interest in the death of Peggy Gamble, who was found dead Monday afternoon in her Eighth Street home. Investigators found evidence that someone had broken into the residence and Gamble’s beige 1988 Toyota Corolla was missing. Officials found the vehicle Monday night an unspecified location in Columbus.
According to testimony Thursday morning, witnesses told police that they saw Short abandon the vehicle on 10th Street. Blood and DNA evidence has been lifted from the vehicle by investigators.
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During questioning, police said Short didn’t deny or admit to any involvement in the homicide. He did admit that he had been to Gamble’s home at least once, a detective said.
It was previously reported that Short was the step-grandson of Gamble, but her family disputed that claim during the hearing.
Authorities said they responded to Gamble’s 2324 8th St. house around 1 p.m. Monday to investigate after a relative found her body in a hallway adjacent to a bedroom. She was pronounced dead at 1:34 p.m., but Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan that she had been dead for eight to 10 hours before her body was found.
Bryan went on to say that rigor mortis had completely set in, meaning that her that her joints and muscles had stiffened. He declined to release the cause of death.
Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick declined to give the exact location, but he confirmed that it was found abandoned and Short was involved in the theft.
Police said he obstructed police when they tried to take him into custody Tuesday night. At the time, he had outstanding warrants for aggravated assault and robbery charges related to an incident at the Piggly Wiggly at 910 Brown Ave. where he allegedly stole $74 worth of cigarettes at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
No weapons were involved in the store incident, authorities said.
Stay with the Ledger-Enquirer as this story continues to develop.