AKRON, Ohio - Akron police said a South African immigrant with a theology degree has confessed to the murder of a FirstMerit bank executive.
Muziwokuthula Madonda, 33, is charged with the aggravated murder of 60-year-old Jacquelyn Hilder, a bank vice president who was shot twice during a robbery at her condominium on Hampton Ridge Drive in Akron in February.
Madonda also admitted to a murder in Dayton and a double murder in New Mexico, police said.
News of the arrest came as a relief to Hilder's daughter, Kim Thomas, who lives in Canada.
"I think that's absolutely great that it's been brought to justice this fast, that they found someone that did this for certain. You just have to wonder why someone would take a life, any life," Thomas said.
Thomas said her mom was a breast cancer survivor and volunteered as a Big Sister.
"She always had a good sense of humor and looked at everything in the best, positive way. She was just a fabulous woman," Thomas said.
Police said Madonda, who is in the United States on a student visa, hatched a plan to rob Hilder of her money.
Madonda had worked with Hilder's boyfriend, Victor Browne, on satellite TV contracts and learned through Browne that Jacquelyn was a bank executive. Akron police Lt. David Whiddon said Madonda thought he could get easy money.
But, Lt. Whiddon said Madonda shot Hilder in the chest and abdomen and took off without any of Hilder's valuables.
"She had offered to give him credit cards and debit cards, but he wanted cash and to our knowledge he didn't take anything from the house," Lt. Whiddon said.
Lt. Whiddon said Madonda is very knowledgable about the Bible and proclaims to be a christian.
"That's one of the reasons he said he came forward was to get straight with God," Lt. Whiddon said.
But, Hilder's murder may have gone unsolved if Madonda had stopped killing, Lt. Whiddon said.
Two days after Hilder was killed, Madonda allegedly shot 25-year-old Zenzele Mdadane near Dayton.
On March 24, Madonda shot two men inside a motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico, investigators said.
He was arrested three days later in Texas, where the self-proclaimed man of God came clean to all four murders, Lt. Whiddon said.
"I don't know how you can be a man of God because that certainly isn't God's work," Thomas said.
The suspect is expected to be extradited to New Mexico to face charges first.
Lt. Whiddon said Madonda will eventually be brought back to Ohio to face aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary charges.
Whiddon said the Summit County prosecutor will decide whether to seek the death penatly.
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