Thurston Lamont Yerby arrested in murder of Tina Towler, James Ferguson

Tina Towler and her boyfriend, James Ferguson, were both found dead May 2. Photo: Towler family

LAUREL, Md. (WJLA) - A 47-year-old Laurel man has been arrested in connection with the May 2 murder of two people inside an apartment in the town.

Prince George's County Police officials say that Thurston Lamont Yerby was taken into custody Thursday in Northeast Washington. He has been charged with first and second-degree murder in the deaths of Tina Towler and James Ferguson.

Towler, 45, and her boyfriend, Ferguson, were both found dead May 2 inside an apartment on Muirkirk Road, authorities say. They were discovered by a caregiver who had come to the home to care for Fowler's severely disabled 25-year-old daughter.

The daughter was not harmed and, at the time, was not able to tell authorities what she saw.

“The daughter was in a location where it would be reasonable that she would have witnessed the homicide or portion thereof,” says Maj. Cesar Pacheco.

Signs of trauma were found on both Towler and Ferguson, leading detectives to quickly rule out a murder-suicide. Neighbors said they heard a loud argument in the apartment shortly before both victims were found dead.

Detectives used DNA evidence and security video to link Yerby with the scene of the crime, officials say, and that he and Towler had been in a romantic relationship.

“At this point, the exact motive is unclear but we think the romantic relationship played some sort of involvement in these crimes,” says Prince George’s County Police Spokeswoman Julie Parker says.

Officials say officers had been called to the residence several times before; twice in February when Towler went missing and again after someone called 911 and hung up.

Neighbors in the apartment community on Muirkirk Road say they always suspected the double murder was not a random crime.

“Now that they found the person that did that that'll take a lot of stress off of people's hearts,” says Sam Crute.

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