Archive for Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pest control worker slain at apartment

February 16, 2008

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— A pest control worker was killed after being called to an apartment building and a resident was arrested.

Thomas James, 48, of Clay Center, was found dead Thursday after a man living at the apartment building called police and said he had hurt someone, said Capt. Tim Hegarty, of the Riley County Police Department.

Hegarty said James died of either "blunt or sharp trauma or a combination of the two."

A 49-year-old man who lives at the apartment was arrested and was being held in the Riley County Jail on $50,000 bond. Hegarty said the suspect had no history of violence.

Hegarty said James was performing routine pest control.

"He had done it many times before for the manager of the apartment building," he said. "He had previous contact, I'm sure, with the suspect, but there was no indication of any issue before today."

Hegarty said Riley County police spent much of their time Thursday fielding questions from concerned residents of Leonardville, which has a population of about 300 and is about 25 miles northwest of Manhattan. It's also a few miles north of Fort Riley, on U.S. 24.

The killing was at least the second violent incident at the same apartment building in the past year.

In May, a domestic disturbance sent a man to a hospital with stab wounds. A woman received minor injuries but declined medical treatment. The local school district locked down buildings for a day and canceled classes for another while a person wanted in connection with the stabbings remained at large.

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