Concord police say they are a step closer to closing a three decades old homicide case with the recent arrest of their prime suspect – a 55-year-old Utah truck driver in jail and charged with the murder of Concord resident Terrie Ladwig in 1994.
James William Grimsley was taken into custody Thursday by Concord police investigators and members of the Salt Lake City Utah Safe Streets Task Force, CPD announced in a release issued by Lt. Sean Donnelly.
Grimsley is being held in Utah on a $1 million fugitive warrant. Prosecutors in Contra Costa County have charged him with murdering 28-year-old Terrie Ladwig, a transgender woman found beaten and strangled in her husband’s Adelaide Street apartment apartment on Dec. 2, 1994.
Police declined to provide a motive for Ladwig’s murder, saying Grimsley is being extradited to Contra Costa County this week. The Utah man was reportedly tied to the murder by forensic evidence recovered from the scene, detectives focusing their attention on Grimsley during a periodic review of departmental cold cases.
Grimsley’s work as a truck driver could explain his presence in the Bay Area at the time of the murder. On the day she died she called her husband to report someone trying to break into the house. Her husband, in the Navy and stationed in Washington state at the time, found her body when he returned home.
Police could find no evidence of forced entry into the apartment, but did find Terrie Ladwig’s car about a mile from the scene. Police eventually ruled out Ladwig’s husband as a suspect in her murder.
It can’t be comfortable charging on 30-year-old evidence, but if there is justice in this, it is sweet!