Murder Suspect Arrested

March 16, 2006--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR--The Jonesboro Police Department has arrested a man in relation to the city's first murder case of the year.  Police have in custody Vincence Mathes of Jonesboro for the murder of 35 year-old Melissa C. Wade of Jonesboro.  Wade was found dead in the backyard of an abandoned house at 214 S. Fisher Street on March 5th.  Police already had Mathes in custody for unrelated charges and now can add capitol murder to his lengthy record.

"Mathes is being held for residential burglary, theft over $500 and for a parole violation at this time," said Jonesboro Police Detective Chad Hogard.

Mathes is a 34 year-old unemployed Jonesboro native who is being held in the Craighead County Jail under a one million dollar bond. Mathes is accused of killing Wade, but still little is known concerning the motive, the association of the two or even Wade herself.

"We know she has a residence here and I have not been able to find a job for her at this time," said Hogard.

It has come up that this crime could become drug related, a possibility that scares the neighbors who live in the area.

"Most of us parents that have kids that are school age and teenage we don't want to let them out the door," said neighbor Charlene Vandiver.

It is believed that Wade was killed at or near where her body was discovered. Under this brutal crime, Mathes could face life in prison or even the death penalty.

"The medical examiner later confirmed that Ms. Wade died as a result of a stab wound to the neck," said Jonesboro Police Captain B.J. Smith.

According to neighbors, drugs and prostitution have become a problem on Fisher Street.

"We ban together to look out for each other's kids. We don't like the idea knowing that there is a possible murderer running around this close to our house," said Vandiver.

According to police, information received from citizens in the community was key to the arrest of Mathes.

"I would say we probably interviewed around 20 people and we will  talk and interview anyone who comes forward with information," said Hogard.

The Jonesboro Police Department is still investigating additional leads. Mathes is next expected in court April 21st.