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December 27, 2014

Jacksonville police arrest man in Sunday homicide

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Richard Thad Pilkington

Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 12:39 pm | Updated: 11:54 pm, Mon Aug 18, 2014.

Jacksonville police arrested a man Sunday on charges that he beat a woman to death.

Chief Tommy Thompson said officers arrested Richard Thad Pilkington, 37, at 11:15 a.m. Sunday on a charge of murder in the killing of Tracey Callaway Strange, 48, of Jacksonville. Thompson said Pilkington was Strange's boyfriend and was arrested at the police station after being interviewed.

"There will be an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, but we believe it was done with hands and feet," Thompson said. "There was no other weapon."

Thompson said the incident occurred at a mobile home on the 1000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest in Jacksonville. Thompson said both the suspect and the victim lived there with friends.

Strange was pronounced dead at 4 a.m. Sunday at Regional Medical Center Jacksonville. Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown said Strange died of blunt force trauma.

"We're still not sure what set it all off," Thompson said of the motive for the killing. "We're still interviewing people who knew them."

Thompson said that investigators believe Pilkington might have made the emergency 911 call for the ambulance that transported Strange to the hospital.

"We're still listening to the tapes of the call to know for sure," Thompson said.

Thompson added that he didn't think anyone else will be charged in the case.

Pilkington was in the Calhoun County Jail today awaiting a bond hearing.

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