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Suspect gets away with brutal 1998 murder—until he submits his fingerprints for a job: Cops

A Florida man was arrested Wednesday for the 1998 murder of a consignment store worker after he reportedly submitted his fingerprints for a job application—and the prints were found to have matched those recovered from the crime scene.

According to WFLA, Todd Barket, 51, was apprehended in Brandon in connection with the slaying of Sondra Better, 68. Better was working at Lu Shay’s Consignment Shop in Delray Beach when someone came in and reportedly stabbed and bludgeoned her to death.

Fingerprints found on a decorative ball reportedly went unidentified for two decades before they were linked to Barket, who had submitted his prints for a potential job in December 2018.

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Law enforcement obtained DNA from 36 men without a match, according to ABC News. Police said DNA from the scene belongs to Barket, who was 29 at the time of the murder.

According to the news station, a witness who shopped at the store before the slaying claimed she possibly spoke with Better’s killer, and described him as a slender white man in his late 20s or early 30s.

Barket was charged with first-degree murder and is being held in Hillsborough County with no bond. WFLA reported that he’s awaiting extradition to Palm Beach County.

The Delray Beach Police Department tweeted Thursday, “Todd Barket almost got away with murder, but the dogged effort by DBPD detectives and crime scene investigators past and present caught up with him 20 years after leaving his fingerprints and blood at a brutal scene. May Sondra Better rest in peace.”

The motive behind the crime remains unclear. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Featured image: Sondra Better/Delray Beach Police; Todd Barket/Delray Beach Police Department]