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Columbia, MD

DNA Links Man to 1982 Murder of Woman Who Was Abducted While Walking to a Shopping Center

Posted by 
Fatim Hemraj
Fatim Hemraj
 28 days ago
Howard Jackson Bradberry.Howard County Police

On March 29, 1982, 28-year-old mother of four, Laney (Linda) Lee McGadney, left her Columbia, Maryland home on foot heading towards Owen Brown Village Center to do some shopping.

As she was walking along Oakland Mills Road approximately 20 minutes away from the shopping center, she was abducted. Witnesses reported seeing Laney enter a vehicle.

Before the abduction and eventual murder was even reported, a strange man called the police. When the operator answered, he began giving directions before abruptly hanging up.

When officers followed the man's directions, they discovered the body of Laney McGadney in a wooded area less than a ten-minute drive away, near Hammond High School.
Laney (Linda) Lee McGadney.Howard County Police

An audio clip of the call was released to the public in the hopes someone would recognize the man's voice but to no avail. DNA was collected at the crime scene but since forensic technology was lacking at the time, the case went cold for the next 39 years.

On May 25, 2021, 62-year-old Howard Jackson Bradberry was arrested at his home in Laurel, Maryland and charged with first-degree murder after DNA test results linked him to the crime scene. He would have been 22-years-old at the time of the murder.

Howard Bradberry is currently being held at the Howard County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond. A court date is set for June 9.

“We hope that after nearly 40 years, Laney McGadney’s family can have some kind of peace with this arrest. Nothing will ever erase the pain of losing a loved one in such a violent and tragic way. Our cold case investigators are committed to bringing justice for victims and families, no matter how much time has passed." Police Chief Lisa Myers