FORT MYERS, Fla. – A Florida man has been charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend after a TV show helped investigators find evidence in the cold case.
Angelo Ruth, 60, of Fort Myers is charged with murdering 40-year-old Mattie Henry, police said.
Fort Myers Police Sgt. Brian O'Reilly told The News-Press an episode about the case last year on TNT's "Cold Justice" helped investigators. They learned that Ruth had forged Henry's signature on a life insurance policy and that Henry's blood was found in the trunk of Ruth's car.
"I believe the publicity the case received helped us locate key witnesses to put this case over the top," O'Reilly said. "This case has gone through a couple different detectives but we continued to be diligent."
O'Reilly added that Ruth originally was a prime suspect and that he had given different accounts of what happened the night before the slaying.
Henry's body was found behind a recreation center on Sept, 8, 1993, with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Ruth said in a deposition that he took Henry to a hotel where they had sex and then went home. Detectives found Henry's body with her purse and a bed sheet used at motels.
The sheet had a black powder burn on it and six bullet holes in it. Investigators figured the shooter crumpled up the sheet to catch the blood and shot through the sheet causing the burn and multiple holes.
Ruth, who owns a sandwich shop in Dunbar, Florida, is being held in the Lee County Jail. His bond is set at $200,000.
"She was loved by her family. She was a little down on her luck at the time and was trying to turn her life around," said O'Reilly of Henry. "She was taking steps trying to be a better parent and a better mother. She was taken from her family in her prime."