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Police Say Man Confesses To Killing Woman; Authorities Look To Other Deaths

April 14, 1995

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) _ A trucker confessed Thursday to killing a woman whose body was dumped along an interstate, said authorities who were trying to determine if he was involved in the slayings of other women whose bodies were found along highways in at least six other states.

Sean Patrick Goble, 28, of Asheboro, N.C., was arrested early Thursday in Winston-Salem, N.C., said Washington County Sheriff Joe Mitchell.

Goble confessed to the strangulation of Brenda Kay Hagy, 45, of Bloomington, Ind., saying he killed her at a service station in eastern Tennessee and took her body to Virginia, Mitchell said. The body was found along Interstate 81 in Virginia’s Washington County on Jan. 23.

At the time of Ms. Hagy’s death, Mitchell said it fit the pattern of killings in at least six states in recent years, including North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and New York.

Goble has admitted only to Ms. Hagy’s slaying, but ``The fact that he is a long-distance driver, we may be hearing from some other states where police are looking at their file of unsolved murders,″ said Ron Barker, the sheriff in Forsyth County, N.C.

Goble was jailed without bond in Winston-Salem.

Late Thursday, the district attorney in Tennessee’s Greene County filed first-degree murder charges against Goble, and Virginia prosecutors agreed to drop their warrant.

In 1991, the FBI and authorities from several states established the Interstate Homicide Task Force to investigate the unsolved highway slayings. Sheriff Gerry Billy of Licking County, Ohio, head of the task force, did not return telephone messages Thursday.

Many of the slayings involved women who loitered at truck stops or were prostitutes and whose bodies were dumped along highways.

Ms. Hagy had been charged with trespassing at truck stops. Members of her family said she could often be found at a truck stop along Interstate 65 in the Indianapolis area. Like many of the victims, she had reddish-blond hair.

Last year, an Ohio truck driver, James Robert Cruz Jr., was convicted in Pennsylvania of a 1993 strangulation of a young woman whose body was dumped along an interstate. Immediately after his arrest, authorities had investigated to see if he could have been involved in other interstate slayings, but he was never charged with any others.

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