Arrest in 1994 Rhonda Sue Bailey Case

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

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

Sixteen years after Rhonda Sue Bailey was found dead, police have made an arrest. Detectives said David Newcomb killed Rhonda Sue Bailey (29) 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 in Sept 2009. That girlfriend told authorities Newcomb chased her with a lighter. He also threatened her life at least twice before police arrived. He allegedly threw gasoline on a police officer. Newcomb is booked at the Rutherford County Jail for Rhonda’s murder.

Rhonda Sue Bailey moved to Nashville in hopes to work as a songwriter. She had two young daughters. If she had lived, she would now be a grandmother of three.

Her autopsy showed that she drowned 7-10 days before her body was found. No one had reported her missing. It took weeks for investigators to identify her remains.

Newcomb was considered a suspect in 1994 but authorities never had all the pieces to charge him. However, new witnesses came forward.

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