Arrest in Rhonda Sue Bailey Case of 1994

Rhonda Sue Bailey with her two girls/Courtesy Judy Stanley, Bailey’s mother

Arrest in Rhonda Sue Bailey Case of 1994. Sixteen years after Rhonda Sue Bailey was found dead, police have made an arrest. Detectives said David Newcomb killed 29-year-old Rhonda Sue Bailey and dumped her body in a creek under a bridge in western Rutherford County, Tennessee, in May of 1994.

Newcomb is already facing six years in prison after pleading guilty to dousing his girlfriend with gasoline in Cookeville last September of 2009. She told officers he chased her around with a lighter and threatened her life at least twice before police arrived. He also allegedly threw gasoline on an officer. He has now been booked at the Rutherford County Jail in connection with Bailey’s death.

Bailey moved to Nashville with aspirations of becoming a songwriter. She left behind two young daughters. If she had lived, she would now be a grandmother of three.

Autopsy results in 1994 showed Bailey drowned seven to 10 days before her body was discovered, but no one had reported her missing. It took three weeks for investigators to identify the remains.

Six months ago, cold-case detectives dusted off Bailey’s file. New interviews with old witnesses led to a discovery. Newcomb was a suspect in the early days after the killing, but detectives said they didn’t get the key information they needed to charge him until several new witnesses came forward recently.

Detectives will not comment on the details of the evidence against Newcomb. They said that after 16 years, Newcomb likely felt that he had gotten away with murder. The article is here.

UPDATE: David Wayne Newcomb entered a no contest plea to second-degree murder. He received a 15-year prison sentence in 2012.