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Published: Tuesday, 10/27/2009

Suspect in area murder found in Illinois shelter

HILLSDALE — The Hillsdale County Sheriff's Office said Monday the prime suspect in the slaying of a 71-year-old man was found and arrested at a homeless shelter in Illinois.

James W. McKinney, 49, was charged on a three-county felony warrant in the homicide of James T. Harper, whose body was found Saturday in his Jefferson Township home on East Reading Road. The two men were roommates.

Authorities said DeKalb County, Illinois, sheriff's deputies first encountered Mr. McKinney during a traffic stop early Friday, the day before the body was discovered. Mr. McKinney was driving Mr. Harper's van and arrested on charges of driving with a suspended license and obstruction of justice, as he tried to impersonate Mr. Harper. Deputies seized several firearms from the vehicle. Mr. McKinney was released on a promise to appear.

After Hillsdale County deputies contacted the DeKalb sheriff's office, deputies there apprehended Mr. McKinney yesterday at a homeless shelter. He is awaiting extradition.

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