Even without the victim’s body, police in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, believe they have arrested the man who killed a missing mother of two last month.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 31-year-old Leah Owens was reported missing on Sept. 17 after loved ones said she missed a fundraiser set up to benefit her sick mother.
Days later, the Bullskin Township resident’s car was found in a field in nearby Connellsville, police announced at the time.
While an extensive search of the vicinity did not lead to the recovery of her body, investigators say what they found inside of Owens’ car led them to their suspect.
Thomas N. Teets, 32, was arrested on suspicion of homicide and other crimes after police interviewed him Thursday, the Tribune-Review reported.
In an earlier police interview, he reportedly admitted smoking crack with Owens, though he denied causing the mother of two any physical harm. Along with Teets, investigators say Owens visited multiple family members on the day of her disappearance in an attempt to borrow money.
Court documents indicate evidence including blood and a knife, combined with witness statements police had collected throughout the investigation, provided officers with probable cause for an arrest.
An affidavit indicates a witness reported seeing Teets driving the victim’s SUV, with her inside, on the day she disappeared. Furthermore, police say some of the suspect’s family members and friends say he had sustained extensive injuries to his hand around the time of Owens’ disappearance.
Stepfather Nathan Able reportedly witnessed Teets walking through his home “covered in blood” with a shirt wrapped around his hand.
“Able advised Teets told him he had cut his hand on some metal,” the affidavit stated.
According to investigators, Brandon Laffitte, the suspect’s acquaintance, said Teets confessed to the crime.
“Teets told him that they don’t got no body, there will be no case,” a court document indicates.
In addition to homicide, KDKA reports Teets faces charges of aggravated assault, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. As of Thursday, he was being held at Fayette County Prison.
[Featured image: Pennsylvania State Police]