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Laurel man pleads guilty in decades-old murder case

BALTIMORE -- A Laurel man has pled guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of a 28-year-old woman four decades ago, according to the Office of the State's Attorney for Howard County.

Howard Jackson Bradberry, 64, faces a charge of first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree rape, and kidnapping in a cold case that dates back to March 29, 1982, Howard County officials said.

Laney Lee McGadney left her apartment in Columbia to walk to a grocery store in the Owen Brown Village Center that day, according to authorities.

Bystanders recall seeing someone abduct McGadney as she was walking along Oakland Mills Road.

Police later found her body in a vacant lot, which is now known as Water Lily Way, according to authorities.

McGadney, a mother of four children, had been raped and stabbed to death, Howard County officials said.

Investigators collected evidence from the crime scene but were unable to identify the person who committed the crime, according to authorities.

In the following years, the Howard County Police Department's investigators revisited the case.

In early 2021, DNA results performed on items discarded at the scene linked Bradberry to the homicide, Howard County officials said. 

And in May, Bradberry was arrested at his home and charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree rape, and kidnapping, according to authorities.

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