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Arrest Made in Clay County Murder and Arson

2/27/2003

CONTACT: David Cheers
(904) 727-5530

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – An arrest has been made in the murder of a 46 year-old Keystone Heights woman after her body was discovered in her burned residence.

On February 17, at approximately 8:00 AM, Clay County firefighters responded to a fire at the victim's home. They discovered the body after extinguishing the fire.

The Florida State Fire Marshal's Office conducted an investigation into the cause of the blaze and determined that six separate fires had been intentionally set within the home. Subsequent to this investigation, an autopsy conducted by the medical examiner's office revealed the woman had been shot with a small caliber gun prior to the fire.

An intensive joint investigation between the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Clay County Sheriff's Office revealed that a friend of the victim, Irma Long, 54, of Keystone Heights, had made statements as to her involvement in the death of the victim. A warrant for her arrest was quickly obtained.

On Monday, February 24, 2003, Department of Transportation officers responding to a bulletin sent by the investigative team located the suspect as she drove along interstate 10. She was arrested without incident and confessed her involvement.