New Mexico woman accused of killing grandfather, stuffing body into tool chest caught in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A New Mexico woman suspected of giving her elderly grandfather a drug overdose and stuffing his body into a tool chest has been captured after she fled more than 1,500 miles across the country to Florida, authorities said.

Candy Jo Webb, 27, of Fort Sumner, was arrested Thursday by U.S. marshals in Jacksonville. She is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of AJ Harden, 83, of Fort Sumner.

Webb was being held Friday in the John E. Goode Pre-trial Detention Facility in Jacksonville, awaiting extradition.

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New Mexico State Police officials reported that De Baca County sheriff’s deputies were called Oct. 15 to a piece of property in Fort Sumner, a rural community of about 1,000 people 150 miles southeast of Santa Fe, after human remains were found inside a Ranch Supply tool chest. The remains were soon identified as those of Harden.

Through an extensive investigation, Webb was developed as a suspect in the killing, officials said.

“Agents learned (Webb), who is the granddaughter of Mr. Harden, gave Mr. Harden Xanax and Ambien,” a state police news release said. “After Mr. Harden died, Ms. Webb concealed Mr. Harden’s body in a tool chest. Webb drove the tool chest to 1976 Shenandoah Drive in Fort Sumner, where she discarded the body.”

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An arrest warrant was issued for Webb on Oct. 28. State police agents learned she was traveling across the country to avoid apprehension, so they turned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Apprehension Service for help.

The marshals caught up with Webb in Florida.

According to his obituary, Harden was a longtime truck driver who, later in life, owned a hamburger stand in Fort Sumner. He was a U.S. Navy veteran.

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