Robert L. Harrison, 32, of Emerson, was arrested Friday morning on a capital murder charge in the murder of Glenda Stroman, 74, of Magnolia.
Mrs. Stroman’s body was found inside her home on Sunday, May 27, although police believe she may have been killed as early as the Friday night preceding her body’s discovery.
Magnolia Police Department detective Todd Dew said at a press conference on Friday morning at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility that Harrison was arrested without incident at the business where he works.
“I am pleased to announce that an individual has been arrested for the murder of Glenda Stroman. The arrest took place just a few moments ago. I’d like to give my accolades to the Magnolia Police Department and other agencies, and in particular Todd Dew, the chief investigator, who did a wonderful job, and the personnel at the Arkansas Crime Laboratory for their work,” said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Butler.
“We want the family and the citizens to know that a subject has been arrested for the murder of Glenda Stroman,” Police Chief Glenn Maxwell.
Just last week, Maxwell issued a public statement to assure residents that the case had not grown cold and was under active investigation. Maxwell said almost since the start of the investigation that reports from the Arkansas Crime Lab would be essential in cracking the case. Dew said it was the receipt of such information on Friday morning that led to the arrest.
“It was the physical evidence at the scene as well as the results from the DNA lab that led to the subject with the homicide,” Maxwell said. Maxwell has said previously that police had fingerprint evidence as well.
Lawmen are not discussing how Mrs. Stroman was killed.
“It was violent. I will leave it at that,” Dew said.
Dew said Mrs. Stroman and Harrison were acquainted with one another through business dealings, but he would not be specific.
Harrison is known to work in the plumbing industry.
Dew said Harrison was calm during his arrest. “We did have several men with us when we went in – several officers – he offered no resistance.
Harrison was in a holding cell at the Justice and Detention Facility on Friday morning.
“The investigation will continue. We will do our normal booking procedures. At some point in time I am sure we will speak to him,” Dew said.
Harrison is also charged with residential burglary and theft of property.
“We have investigated multiple suspects but at this point in time, (Harrison) is the main suspect,” Dew said. He left open whether there will be more arrests.
The two-month length of the investigation led many Magnolians to fear that there might not be an arrest. Maxwell addressed that aspect of the case.
“We would like to have solved it overnight, but there was just a process that we had to go through. I’m thankful that regardless of how long it has taken we made an arrest in the case. I think that’s what the family will be excited about,” Maxwell said.
No first court appearance has been set for Harrison.
Mrs. Stroman’s body was found at the rear of her residence about 8 a.m. Sunday, May 27 – the Memorial Day weekend two months ago today. She had lived alone in the house since the death of her husband, Earl.
Police said Mrs. Stroman, who was known to be in good health and as a woman who walked and exercised on a regular basis, put up a brief struggle before she was killed.
Family members spoke with Mrs. Stroman on the Friday evening before she was killed, but she did not answer voice mail messages that were left for her later in the evening. A relative discovered her body on Sunday morning.