Suspect in 1974 Murder in Custody

February 6, 2014

WORCESTER –  DNA evidence has linked a former furniture mover to the 1974 murder of a 21-year-old woman in her Shrewsbury home, according to District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Lonzo Guthrie, 69, of Austell, Ga., was arrested Tuesday by two State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and police in Georgia. He is being held without bail on a fugitive from justice charge after being arraigned in Douglas County.

A warrant was issued out of Westboro District Court on Friday charging Mr. Guthrie with the murder of Eileen Ferro, whose body was discovered on Feb. 22, 1974 in a spare bedroom of the home at 30 Ladyslipper Drive she shared with her husband.

“We wanted justice for Eileen Ferro and, after all these years, closure for her family,” Mr. Early said.

Mr. Guthrie, who was living in Worcester at the time, had delivered furniture to the home the day before the killing. He was questioned during the initial investigation, but there was no evidence linking him to the crime.

The forensic evidence was preserved, however, and as DNA science evolved the material was re-submitted for testing and a positive match was found.

“This arrest is a combination of advanced technology and dogged police work,” Mr. Early said. “We have been working on this case and other unresolved homicides since I took office.”

Mr. Early has put a priority on unresolved homicides and seeing if advanced science can be applied to forensic evidence gathered at crime scenes.

He praised the State Police Detectives assigned his office as well as Shrewsbury Police, the Douglas County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey  for the investigation and arrest of Mr. Guthrie.