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Transient arrested in burning death of homeless woman

LARGO — Detectives have arrested a local homeless man who they accuse of lighting a homeless woman on fire and leaving her body in a burning trash bin in October.

Jeffrey Robert Grant, 37, was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder Tuesday after Largo police detectives found him in St. Petersburg. Earlier in the day, police had issued news releases asking for the public's help in locating Grant.

Grant is a known transient who frequents homeless shelters and vagrant camps throughout Pinellas County, police said. Before his arrest, he was last seen near Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg and in parts of northeast St. Petersburg.

Grant is charged in the death of Jennifer Lee Guthrie, 26. She was found dead Oct. 9 in a burnt trash bin behind a Wachovia Bank at 14147 Walsingham Road. She had gasoline in her lungs, and a witness told police he saw a man holding a milk jug and pouring something onto the fire.

An autopsy report indicated there were no signs of trauma to Guthrie's body other than severe burns.

Police haven't released any information about a possible motive.

Transient arrested in burning death of homeless woman 01/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 2:52pm]
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