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St. Petersburg police arrest neighbor in homicide

ST. PETERSBURG — Detectives didn't have to go far to find a suspect in the death of Bryan Happe, whose body was found in his own apartment last month: Next-door neighbor Ray Anthony Henderson was arrested Thursday on a charge of first-degree murder.

St. Petersburg police said DNA found at the crime scene was linked to Henderson, 53. The test results came back Thursday, and detectives returned to the apartment complex at 2780 First Ave. N to arrest him.

Police said Happe, 52, was found dead July 5 by an air conditioner repair technician in unit No. 2.

According to police, Henderson lived next door in unit No. 3.

"He told detectives that he has a problem with crack cocaine," said police spokesman Mike Puetz, "and that he knew the victim had money."

Henderson stabbed Happe to death, police said, stole an undisclosed amount of cash and used it to buy crack.

Henderson admitted to the slaying after his arrest, Puetz said. Henderson was booked into the Pinellas County jail on Thursday evening.

St. Petersburg police arrest neighbor in homicide 08/04/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 4, 2011 11:46pm]

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