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Arrest made in 15-year-old homicide

By Staff | Sep 23, 2019

An arrest has been made in one of Lee County’s the most tragic cold cases.

State Attorney Amira Fox called a press conference Monday to announce that an arrested had been made in the 15-year-old murder of Mary Elizabeth Mount, who was strangled to death in 2004.

Terry Daniel McDonald, 39, has been charged with second-degree murder in Mount’s Jan. 5, 2004 death. She was 28.

Fox asked the newly formed State Attorney’s Office cold case homicide division to reopen the case. They traveled to Arizona and Texas, where McDonald is in prison for another crime.

“The team was able to find new evidence, culminating in the arrest with the help of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office,” Fox said. “This evidence has allowed us to go forward with this case, charging the defendant with murder.”

McDonald is being extradited to Florida at this time, she said.

Fox was flanked by the team that helped bring resolution to the case, including Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

“Our team came together and our suspect is in custody and en route to Lee County,” Marceno said. “This is a classic case of you can run, and you can hide, but you’re coming back to face these charges.”

Also present were Mount’s brother, Steve, and father, Robert, who expressed thanks to the many people who worked towards this day.

“This has been a long road to justice, about 15 years, and encompassing several jurisdictions, making it harder over the years. My family has kept faith that Mary would get justice, and today that day has come,” Steve said. “It’s a long chapter that is finally coming to an end.”

Fox formed the Cold Case Division upon taking office at the start of the year, made possible by the local Legislative Division and the governor, which provided the funding to start it.

Fox and her team did not answer any further questions, as it is an open prosecution.