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Grandma's alleged murderer caught

Suspect arrested in South Carolina
By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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A former Elk Grove man has been arrested and charged with the Dec. 21, 2009, murder of Folsom resident Alice Murphy. Sylvester Griffin, 42, was arrested June 16 in Columbia, South Carolina, for the slaying of the 64-year-old mother and grandmother. He was transported to the Sacramento Jail where he remains in custody without bail. “Through the efforts of the Sacramento Crime Lab and the FBI’s forensics department we were able to match DNA (from the crime scene) to Griffin,” said Jason Browning, information officer for the Folsom Police Department. Murphy lived alone in her Creekside Manor apartment and had been recovering from injuries she sustained during a fall, according to her son Mark Judish. Minutes before noon on Monday, Dec. 21, 2009, Folsom Police responded to the Mercy Senior Housing community located at 1720 Creekside Drive to the report of a suspicious death. Officers discovered Murphy deceased with injuries consistent with a violent physical assault. A homicide investigation was initiated with months of intricate investigation to follow, according to authorities. After nearly six months of conducting more than 200 interviews, watching several hundred hours of surveillance footage, investigative analysis, and effort by Folsom Police Criminal Investigations Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the FBI Crime Lab, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and the Sacramento Coroner’s Office; investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Griffin Although Murphy was still recovering and was required to wear a neck brace, Judish said his 5-foot 1-inch mother would have tried to protect herself. There was no sign of forced entry and officials are not saying whether or not any items were taken from the home. Griffin’s DNA was on file with the FBI, Browning said, which ultimately led to his arrest. Authorities did not release details of Griffin’s criminal history. Law enforcement officials had interviewed Griffin twice by phone since he left California. “He didn’t suspect we would be looking for him,” Browning said. “We were eventually able to pin down his location.” Through investigation, detectives discovered Griffin was employed as a driver for Rapid Response Medical Transportation Service when Murphy was killed. Although Murphy wasn’t a customer of Rapid Response, people within her senior community do use their transportation services for medical appointments. At this time there is no evidence to suggest Murphy knew her assailant, according to authorities. Griffin was arrested during a vehicle stop without further incident.