MILTON, Pennsylvania — A Texas truck driver has been charged with the murder of model whose bullet-riddled body was found near the interstate in Pennsylvania after cops found the man’s name and number in the dead woman’s pocket.
Rebecca Landrith’s body was found in a wooded area near Interstate 80 on Sunday, with 18 gunshot wounds to her face, neck, chest and hands, police said. The 47-year-old was a native of Virginia and had worked as a model in New York.
Investigators found a note in her coat pocket with 28-year-old Tracy Ray Rollins Jr.’s name, telephone number and email address written on it, PennLive.com reported. He was arrested Wednesday in Connecticut and charged with homicide and abuse of a corpse.
Investigators have not revealed what the possible motive may have or if a weapon was recovered.
Landrith had been a professional model in New York City, a finalist for Miss Manhattan in 2014, an accomplished violinist and a champion for numerous charities. She had appeared in numerous product advertisements, video commercials and in multiple runway shows including Fashion Week.
Police say that using receipts found in Landrith’s pockets and Rollins’ cell phone records, they were able to trace his travels from Wisconsin to Maine with a stop at the interchange late Saturday where Landrith’s body was found.
According to an affidavit, a search of Rollins’ truck ound flesh and brain-like matter on the bottom bunk mattress behind the passenger seat and flesh-like matter beneath the exterior top stair gate. There was evidence that a cleaning agent had been used on the front seat to cover up signs of blood. And investigators found six 9mm shell casings on the floorboards and signs of bullet strikes on the rear wall behind the passenger seat and above the bottom bunk.
Rollins was tracked down in Mildale, Connecticut, where state police stopped his rig after it left a truck stop.
Rollins told investigators he did not know Landrith or recognize her from a picture but that he had traveled with a woman named Leslie he had met at a truck stop near Milford, Conn.
Police in Milford have determined that Landrith made hotel reservations there in December under the name Leslie Myers.
According to Rollins, “Leslie” accompanied him to Maine, back to Connecticut, then Brooklyn and on to Wisconsin where he picked up a load to be delivered in Maine.
One telling exchange, according to the affidavit, was when Rollins replied to questions about his travels by saying: “I hate to start lying to you cause this is a murder investigation.” Police say that at that point Rollins had not been told it was a murder investigation.