MORENO VALLEY – Riverside police, who reopened a 1992 death investigation, have arrested a Moreno Valley man who stands accused of killing a woman in her apartment.
Leonard Terrance Woods, 53, has been linked to the death of Judith Goodman, 44, who was found in her apartment bound and strangled 19 years ago. Goodman, who lived in the same Gould St. apartment complex as Woods, was found on Feb. 26, 1992.
Police linked Woods to the crime through DNA evidence that was found under Goodman’s fingernails. Forensic evidence matched DNA samples with the suspect, tests that weren’t available in 1992. Police submitted evidence to the Department of Justice laboratory earlier this year.
Woods was arrested on Monday in Moreno Valley near his home off Eucalyptus Ave.
“There’s not a lot (of information) we can give out,” said Sgt. Dave Amador, “because this is still an active investigation.”
Records in the case, however, are explicit in the crime. When her body was discovered, say reports, Goodman was bound at both her wrists and ankles with her mouth covered in duct tape. Autopsy results disclosed she had died from strangulation.
Police had removed Goodman’s body from her apartment prior to a fire that burned the building, located in the La Sierra section of the city, to the ground. At the time, police believed the suspect was hiding inside and fired a “flash-bang” grenade into the apartment in an attempt to flush out anyone inside.
The suspect had left the scene before police arrived.
Police had discovered that Woods and Goodman worked together and that he had recommended the apartment site that she was renting. After the killing he was interviewed and, despite scratches on his face, was released due to lack of evidence, said police.
Early on Monday afternoon, Woods was stopped near his home on Ninebank St. where he was arrested. Later on Monday, he was charged with one count of murder and use of a deadly weapon.
An arraignment will be held on Thursday at Riverside. Woods is facing 25 years to life in prison.
Earlier this year, similar DNA testing methods helped implicate a man who was already sitting on death row. Alfredo Rolando Prieto, who had been on death row since 1992 for the rape and murder of an Ontario teen-age girl, was linked to the killings of Stacey Seigrist, 19, and Tony Gianuzzi, 21, who were dating each other at the time of their deaths.
Their bodies were discovered in the Rubidoux area of Riverside.
The Press Enterprise: RIVERSIDE: Man arrested in woman’s 1992 strangling
Instant Riverside.com: Arrest made in February 26 1992 murder case