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Testimony: Suspect was wearing GPS tether when he killed, buried Mason woman

Posted at 7:30 AM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 15:55:14-04

LANSING, Mich. — Cory Coddington was on a GPS tether the night police say he shot Melissa Nicole Murray, burned her body and buried her in Isabella County.

That's how police found Murray's body, according to testimony from a Lansing police detective in a hearing that led to murder and felony firearm charges against Coddington.

A man who told police he helped Coddington hide the body, Daniel Lawrence Dutton, had already gone with officers to Isabella County, driven around with them, tried to show them were Murray was buried.

"That first time up there we did not locate her body, we were not in the correct location," Lansing Police Detective Ellen Larson testified, "but after finding that GPS tether, we did and were able at a later time to go up and recover her remains."

Murray was 33 years old when she died. Her stepfather had reported her missing to the Ingham County Sheriff's Office in February. He'd heard rumors she'd been killed, Larson said.

Around the same time, Lansing police got an anonymous complaint that someone had been killed in a home at 1004 Mahlon St. on the city's north side, the house where Dutton lived.

Coddington is 40. He's done prison time for aggravated assault and the manufacture and delivery of the drug ecstasy. According to the state's Offender Tracking Information System, he has a tattoo of the Grim Reaper on his chest and one of a deer scene on his back.

According to witnesses interviewed by police, sometime between the night of Feb. 1 and the early morning hours of Feb. 2, he walked into the house at 1004 Mahlon St. with a long gun and shot Murray in the head, Larson testified.

Coddington, Dutton and another man then took Murray's body and the couch she was sitting on, loaded them into a pickup truck and drove north to Isabella County, where they burned and then buried her, Larson testified.

Dutton has been charged as an accessory after the fact to a felony.

As for Coddington, the GPS tether puts him at 1004 Mahlon St. on the night of Feb. 1st into Feb. 2nd, Larson said, and "Feb. 2nd takes him to the area in Isabella County directly to the burial site where Ms. Murray’s body was located."

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Erica Murphy

Erica Murphy

1:21 PM, Mar 03, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Erica Murphy

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