Updated 11/09/2011 10:09 PM
New details in Davis Motel homicide released
Convicted rapist Robert Blainey is back in Utica, arrested in connection with a murder at the Davis Motel last week. Blainey was found in Pennsylvania Monday night driving Linda Turner's car. Utica investigators traveled to Pennsylvania to retrieve the car and question Blainey about the woman's death. Our Beth Jones has the latest details in the case.
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UTICA, N.Y. -- Utica Police now say convicted rapist Robert Blainey, 45, may have been hiding out in a vacant room at the Davis Motel on Herkimer Road for at least two days before the motel's owner, Linda Turner, 68, was found dead in the motel office last Thursday morning.
Utica Police Chief Mark Williams said, "November 4th, an autopsy was performed and the death was ruled a homicide by strangulation. The victim was also sexually assaulted."
Police say they don't believe Blainey knew Linda Turner personally, but was targeting her. They say he could face numerous felony charges, including first degree murder, rape, robbery and burglary. The case will go right to a grand jury, since he is already being held on a parole violation.
"The key is he is not going anywhere, so the fact that there's a parole hold on him, that allows us the opportunity to present this and streamline the process of bringing it to the grand jury," said Williams.
In addition to the work of investigators, police say cooperation among law enforcement agencies was key in tracking Blainey down and breaking the case. Chief Williams expressed appreciation for their efforts.
"We're very grateful to Pennsylvania State Police who were very accommodating, did a fantastic job in stopping him. What a lot of people don't realize is that they've got to set the table sometimes, get those notifications and do full investigation. And it just goes to show multiple police agencies working together can do some good work," Williams said.
Utica Police say they believe Blainey may have been hiding out in an abandoned house in West Utica before making his way to the Davis Motel. They also tell us the Oneida County District Attorney is considering a recommendation of life without parole for the litany of charges he could face with the grand jury. Police say they hesitated to release many of the details in Linda Turner's death and Blainey's potential involvement until family members were informed first.