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Florida man arrested in 1974 Fairmont slayings

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal agents have arrested a Florida man identified as a suspect in the 1974 fatal shootings of three people in Northern West Virginia.

The U.S. Marshals Service in Tampa, Fla., said in a statement that officers arrested 59-year-old Eddie Jack Washington without incident on Thursday. Officers followed Washington from his Tampa home to a grocery store where he was arrested.

Washington was taken to the Tampa Police Department for questioning. He was being held without bond at the Hillsborough County Jail. Jail records didn't indicate whether Washington had an attorney.

Police in Fairmont issued a murder warrant for Washington's arrest on Wednesday. The U.S. Marshals statement said information was recently developed identifying Washington as a suspect in the slayings. The statement didn't elaborate, and Fairmont Police Chief Kelley Moran didn't immediately return a telephone message Thursday.

The Times West Virginian reported Fairmont police had been actively investigating the case since September.

The bodies of Guy Lester Phillips, 20, his wife, Wanda Jane Phillips, 19, and Billy Ray Cobb, 27, all of Fairmont, were found next to each other on Aug. 2, 1974, along the far edge of a park behind tennis courts and a soccer field. All three had been shot in the head and a coroner determined they had been dead for up to eight hours.


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