Cold case murder suspect is now in custody at the Hamilton County Jail

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee – (WDEF) A Michigan man who was indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury is finally back in Chattanooga awaiting his day in court.

Jason Kirk Sanford, 43, of Westland Michigan is facing a first degree murder charge for the death of Sarah Lea Perry in East Ridge. The murder happened 16 years ago.

Sanford was arrested in Michigan earlier this month after Hamilton County cold case detectives traveled to Detroit to conduct interviews. Since mid-August, he had been awaiting extradition back to Tennessee.

Background Information on Cold Case:

On June 15, 2000, two boys found her partially nude body in a garbage can on Springvale Avenue that was later identified as Sara Lea Perry.

According to investigators, Perry had called police the previous morning to ask them to check out her house for her estranged boyfriend, Jason Sanford.

She said he was trying to find her and had threatened her after she ended their relationship.

The officer talked to her at her home around five in the morning.

And other people said they saw her later in the day.

Just a few hours after Perry’s body was found, Sanford booked a one way ticket to Michigan, where he has been living ever since, but at that time, investigators couldn’t make the case.

16 years later, the victim’s mother contacted the Hamilton County Cold Case Unit that kick-started a new investigation that has now led Sanford being arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Sanford’s bond was set at $500,000 and is next court date is September 8th.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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