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Woman Found Drowned at Scene of Fire After Suspect Confesses

Woman Found Drowned at Scene of Fire After Suspect Confesses

Twenty-seven-year-old Erica Green was allegedly drowned in a bathtub Tuesday by a Delaware man, who then set her home on fire to cover her murder.

Green, who had been living with her mother in Elkins along with apparent boarders Patrick Devonshire and Robert Hurt, was ultimately identified through tattoos, reports say Elkton Police Department concluded. Green's autopsy shows asphyxiation by drowning as the cause of death.

Reports also say that Jeffery Cordell, 25, of Middletown, has confessed to drowning Green and setting the house ablaze. Cordell was remanded to the Delaware corrections system after turning himself in at the Newark Police Department last Wednesday. He allegedly blamed voices inside his head telling him to kill Green for his murder and arson.

Cordell told investigators he experienced auditory hallucinations while drinking with Devonshire and Hurt at the Locust Lane house on Tuesday, police said. Cordell told investigators he initially wanted to kill either Devonshire or Hurt, but they had apparently passed into unconsciousness from too much alcohol - which Cordell had spiked with poison.

Unsuccessful, Cordell turned to Green, who was bathing at the time, police reported. He reportedly held her under the water and drowned her, then set fire to the house before fleeing the scene. He has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree arson, attempted first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault, reports said.

In fact, officers responded to the scene after nearby police alerted them that Cordell had come forward in their jurisdiction. Up to that point, local police had no idea that a slaying had occurred inside that home, reports say.

When officers did arrive, detectives discovered Green's body in a bathtub under charred debris. A neighbor had discovered the fire, called emergency services and assisted Devonshire and Hurt out of the burning house. None of the three had any idea Green had been in the house at the time.

When victims' families demand answers, it takes a knowledgeable team to provide them. How and who will pay for tragedies like these is best left to experts in the field of litigation. The Doan Law Firm, P.C. has extensive experience in both water accidents and in personal injury cases. For more information, contact The Doan Law Firm, P.C. today.


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  1. After an accident, the responsible party's insurance company may try to reduce the claim amount. Commonly, insurance adjusters are trained to get information from the injured to assist in reducing the claim. Though some insurers are less guilty of this practice than others, it is important to realize that insurance companies are profit-oriented corporations and reducing claims results in increased profits for shareholders. This can create a situation for the injured in which they are offered a settlement that does not truly reflect the damages suffered. If you accept this settlement, you lose the ability to get more money should your injuries require further medical treatments. It is critical that victims get legal assistance in any personal injury case, and The Doan Law Firm is prepared to fight relentlessly for your rights.
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