DALLAS - Dallas police have arrested a man for the murder of a young woman whose body was found inside her own burning SUV near Lower Greenville. An alert witness and fingerprint evidence helped lead police to the alleged killer.
Glen Richter, 49, was taken into custody late Wednesday for the death of 22-year-old Sara Hudson. She was out celebrating her birthday, and the evidence so far suggests this may have been a random attack.
Police and firefighters found Hudson’s white Chevy Tahoe on fire Monday night in a parking lot near Alta and Summit avenues, just one block off of Lower Greenville. When they put out the flames, they discovered her body badly burned in the back of the SUV.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, surveillance video shows Hudson getting out of her SUV. That's when Richter walked up to her and forced her back into the vehicle.
The arrest report says the suspect touched the car doors and that a “fingerprint was identified as (suspect) Glen D. Richter.” The print was possibly from a 2007 arrest in Kaufman County for a misdemeanor assault charge that was later dismissed.
The affidavit also stated that an unnamed witness “observed the suspect in the parking lot” where Hudson was attacked, adding that he was “carrying a small black and white dog.” Investigators found a photograph of a small black and white dog on Richter's Facebook page.
The arrest affidavit does not list a motive or describe how Hudson was killed. It only stated that the recent University of Arkansas grad died from “homicidal violence inside the trunk of the vehicle.”
Richter was arrested at a home in Mesquite on Wednesday. The woman who lives at the home did want to talk on camera, but she said Richter is a truck driver and lives out of his semi. He had been crashing at her home. She says she saw him the night of the crime, but he was not acting unusual and is stunned by what has happened.
Family members said the 22-year-old had gone out to meet friends for a drink to celebrate her birthday. But she never showed up. That's when they started to worry.
Some of the friends Hudson was supposed to meet had shared locations with each other on their phones. When she didn’t show up, one of them pinged her phone and discovered firefighters and officers surrounding her Tahoe.
There was a small gathering Thursday night in the parking lot where Hudson's burned body was found Monday. Mourners spelled her name with candles.
"I didn't know her personally, but this is something that happened in our community,” said organizer Alexa Bjornsen. “So I thought it would be nice for us to come together and remember her."
A statement from Hudson’s family says, “Sara was a young woman of immense talent and immeasurable potential…The world is a more precious place because of her and sadder now without her.”
The family statement goes on to thank police for working “so tirelessly and diligently” and for arresting Richter.
Hudson was part of a prominent Dallas family and had recently graduated from the University of Arkansas. She had just moved back to Dallas several months ago for a job.
“I can still hear her laughter and her smile. I mean, she was just joyful, joyful. She celebrated life with all she had,” said Angela Aragon, her aunt.
Aragon said her daughter loved to travel with Hudson. They had taken a trip to Bali, Indonesia with another cousin and most recently traveled to Hawaii. She said her daughter was flying to Dallas Monday to celebrate Hudson’s birthday with her. But before she could board the plane, she got the call that Hudson had been murdered.
She has no idea why Richter or anyone else would have wanted to harm her niece.
“You never think your family is going to be the one touched by such a criminal malfeasance,” she said.
Aragon said her daughter was one of the last people to speak to Hudson before she left work at Schneider, a transportation company.
The company released a statement, saying in part: "We are cooperating with local law enforcement in their investigation of this incident.”
People who live in the area told FOX 4 they typically feel safe in their neighborhood. They are hoping for more details from the police.
“It was the first I’ve heard about it. I was shocked. It’s such a populated area. There’s so many people around all the time. I can’t believe something like that would happen without anyone seeing,” said Greg Matuszewski, who lives in the area.
“I immediately got chills and I didn’t know what to think,” said Alicia Duncan. “It happened while it was still daylight outside, which is more bizarre.”
Richter was booked into the Lew Sterrett jail and charged with capital murder. His bond was set at $500,000. Online jail records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.
Hudson's aunt says a memorial service is planned for Monday in Dallas.