The convicted child rapist who was the subject of a massive search across several Central New York counties is under arrest in Pennsylvania.
Police in Utica say 45-year-old Robert Blainey was found driving a vehicle that was owned by a recent murder victim. On Monday night, Pennsylvania State Police conducted a traffic stop of 68-year-old homicide victim Linda Turner's Toyota convertible in the area of Montoursville, in north-central Pennsylvania. Police identified the driver to be New York State Parole absconder Robert W. Blainey.
Investigators say there is a "strong possibility" Blainey will be charged with Turner's slaying. Turner's body was found last week inside her room at the Davis Motel, which she owned in Utica. Police have not yet said how she was killed.
U tica Police spokesperson Sergeant Steve Hauck says that the department intends to hold a news conference when more information becomes available today or tomorrow. At this point Hauck says Blainey has not yet been charged in connection to the death of Linda Turner.
CNYcentral's Jim Kenyon went to the Davis Motel, which Turner owned, on the northern fringe of Utica and talked with Elizabeth Hungerford. She says she worked for Turner for the past ten years, and discovered her body last week in the home attached to the motel. Hungerford refused to discuss the circumstances for fear of upsetting the police investigation.
Hungerford described Turner as, "a second mother to me," saying Turner was well liked by everyone that knew her. Turner was described as independent and feisty and would have put up a fight.
Two women at the motel who described themselves as relatives refused to comment, but did say, "the family is grateful to the police for catching her killer."
Blainey has a long rap sheet. He was first convicted of attempted rape in 1984 for forcing himself on an eight-year-old girl. Four years later, while on parole, he was again arrested and convicted of raping two women in Madison County. He was released from prison in 2009.
Utica Police officers and United States Marshals stepped up their search for Blainey this past Halloween, concerned that he could strike when children were out trick-or-treating. Utica-area school districts also increased security as the search for Blainey continued. Turner was found dead in her hotel that very same day.
Authorities say Blainey went missing after failing to report to his parole officer.