FDLE and Taylor County Sheriff’s Office Solve 21-Year-Old Homicide
Mar 06, 2009
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office announce the arrest of Kenneth Knight, 48, of Hattiesburg, Miss. for first-degree murder. Knight is charged in the Feb. 18, 1988 death of Sandra Espinoza in Perry, Fla.
Espinoza’s body was located by a passing motorist on the roadside of U.S. Highway 19, near the Wayside Park in Perry, Fla. She was last seen by her husband at a truck stop in Marianna, Fla. the day before.
Florida authorities re-opened the homicide as part of a cold case review. DNA evidence from the crime scene was re-submitted to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) by FDLE’s Tallahassee Crime Lab. The sample matched Knight who was arrested in Arkansas in December 1996 for the murder of Rose Marie Arnette. The circumstances surrounding Arnette’s murder were similar to the Espinoza homicide.
On March 4, investigators joined with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to execute a search warrant at Knight’s Hattiesburg residence. Knight was subsequently arrested March 5 and transported back to Florida. He was booked into the Taylor County Jail late yesterday evening.
For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Perezluha or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information
Captain Ron Rice
Taylor County Sheriff’s Office