Murder suspects returning to valley

CADIZ – It appears the two individuals charged with the murder of Joseph Strother, a Cadiz resident who was found dead in Sally Buffalo Park on March 28, will see a Harrison County courtroom sooner than previously expected.

Matthew Dowdel, 24, of Hopedale, and Eve Kelley, 33, previously of Wintersville, were arrested in Daytona Beach Shores after being on the run for over a week and are currently being held in the Volusia County Jail without bond. Although they faced charges in Florida, including grand theft of a motor vehicle under $100,000 and being fugitives from justice, officials have decided to dismiss the charges and release Dowdel and Kelley to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department.

On Tuesday, a group from the department will leave for Florida and pick up the suspects in a cruiser, then make the 15-hour trip back home.

Officials will also be bringing home the Chevy Trailblazer that was stolen by Dowdel and Kelley. They are expected to return by May 2, and the suspects will be arraigned shortly thereafter. They each face four charges: murder, felonious assault, complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit felonious assault.

Until arraignment, it is not clear where they will be held. Harrison County prosecutor Michael Washington predicts Jefferson County Jail, but ultimately the decision rests with Sheriff Joe Myers, who did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.