Authorities have charged a man in the murder investigation of a 6-year-old girl whose body was found in a canal near her West Jordan home. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced today at a press conference that 41-year-old Terry Lee Black has been arrested and charged with the June 26 homicide, child abduction, and rape of Sierra Newbold.
“We’re very glad that this crime has been solved, that we have been able to arrest somebody for the murder of Sierra Newbold,” said West Jordan Police Chief Doug Diamond.
Black was initially arrested for the June 29 robbery of a West Jordan Wells Fargo Bank and while in custody Chief Diamond said they found physical evidence that made Black a suspect in the Newbold homicide.
Chief Diamond praised the work of Detective James Bigelow for “connecting the dots” between the two crimes:
“This crime could have gone a totally different direction had it not been for his being able to see beyond the obvious and go and connect the dots that were so useful in trying to get to the bottom of this case. It could’ve been very easy that we just booked him into jail and never recognized that he was our murder suspect.”
Diamond says Black had charcoal stains on his hands and knees that matched the soot in the field where Newbold’s pajamas and underwear were found. Police also found the victim's DNA on Black.
Black attended the same church as the Newbolds, Diamond said, and the family was “shocked” when they heard the news. Black’s bail has been set at $2,000,000.
On June 26, Kathleen Newbold awoke to find her sliding glass door open and her daughter missing. It was only ten minutes after Newbold called police that they recovered Sierra’s body in a canal about a block from her home. Police were able to view security tapes of the house and could see a figure entering the premises at 3:05. the figure leaves 13 minutes later carrying a small object.