An arrest was made Wednesday for a grisly murder which took place in McMinnville nearly 23 years ago just days before Christmas.
Paul Alvin Adcock Sr., 76, was booked at Warren County Jail on Wednesday and charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence for the death of his mother, Lela Mae Adcock, 74. She was found dead in her home on Rebel Hill Street by authorities conducting a welfare check on Dec. 23, 1996.
The discovery of Ms. Adcock’s body left the neighborhood in shock. The widow was found with her throat slit and the coroner confirmed she had been sexually assaulted.
“I think whoever did this is very sick,” said McMinnville Police Lt. Joe Rankhorn in the Dec. 27, 1996 edition of the Standard.
A special session of the Warren County grand jury was called Wednesday, which resulted in a two-count indictment against Paul Adcock, who was long believed to be the prime suspect.
District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis said Thursday no new evidence has emerged against Mr. Adcock.
“Nothing has changed,” said Zavogiannis. “This is a case that needed to be presented and needed to be heard.”
As to why a special session of the grand jury was called, Zavogiannis said, “I wanted them to hear everything and it took all day. I didn’t want there to be any other distractions.”
Ms. Adcock was living in a McMinnville Housing Authority home at 134 Rebel Hill Street when authorities conducted a welfare check based on a request from an out-of-state relative. The welfare check was conducted on a Monday morning. Ms. Adcock was last heard from the Friday before.
The front door of her home was found locked, but the back door was unlocked, investigators said. Adcock was found in a pool of blood on her living room floor. Her throat was slit and there was evidence she was sexually assaulted. The initial autopsy report confirmed the sexual assault days later.
An eight-member forensic team from the TBI brought a mobile crime lab to the scene to scour the residence for six hours. Robbery was ruled out as a motive as investigators said it didn’t appear valuables were removed.
In the days following the murder, several neighbors described Ms. Adcock as a great person who would do anything she could to help if asked.
She was a retired employee of Formit Rogers who was also a waitress at Hillcrest Restaurant, which is the now-vacant restaurant located on the property of Scottish Inns on Sparta Street.
Mr. Adcock’s bond was set at $57,500. He has already made bond and has been released. His first court appearance is set for Dec. 18.