Cold case: Arrest made in woman’s 1997 strangulation death

51-year-old Georgia man faces murder charge

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Decades after the fact, Orange County deputies believe they’ve figured out who strangled a woman who was found dead inside an apartment on April 16, 1997.

Deputies said they were called to a possible burglary at a residence on Lee Street and found 42-year-old Donna Byrd dead from strangulation.

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Records show that blood samples and fingerprints were collected from the crime scene but they couldn’t be identified at that time.

In September, deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s newly formed Cold Case Unit submitted the fingerprints for review and got a match for 51-year-old Jimmy Lee Mahone, according to a news release.

Deputies in Orange County contacted officials at the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia after they received information that Mahon could be in that area then on Tuesday, he was arrested in Macon on a murder charge, records show.

He’s being held in Macon until he can be extradited back to Florida.

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