MECHANICSVILLE, Md. (WJLA) -- It was a crime that rattled an entire community. 32-year-old Moneta Strickland, a nurse engaged to be married, was out for a jog when she was murdered along the popular Three Notch Trail in a county where such violence hardly occurs.
"That's actually really scary because I jog this trail multiple times -- I've taken the kids to the park," says Emily Kitchen.
Tonight, there is relief on the trail, as sheriff’s deputies have charged John M. Quade, Jr. of Lexington Park with the murder of Moneta Strickland. And nearby residents like Gloria Lytton say they can finally feel safe again:
"I'm just glad they found the killer," said Lytton.
Strickland disappeared last Thursday night when she went for a jog in the park. A K-9 search team found her body on Friday, covered in leaves in a ravine next to the trail. The big break for detectives came when they found security video of Quade’s car in the park.
Quade is a registered child sex offender, and a deputy recognized the car immediately.
"We keep a constant surveillance on these people. and it paid off," says Capt. Terry Black. "It paid off greatly."
A search of Quade’s home turned up items that were stolen from Strickland. According to sources, he told detectives he wanted to rob his victim on the trail. When things didn’t go as planned, he admitted that he hit her with a large rock. Quade is charged with first-degree murder.