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Published April 27, 2011, 04:28 PM

Discovery of Human Remains in Brooklyn Park, MN, Leads to Charge in 2007 Case

Remains were found in Brooklyn Park nearly four years later, and now prosecutors have charged a homeless man with killing her.

By: Amy Forliti, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When a 57-year-old mother went missing in 2007, there was so much blood in her Columbia Heights apartment that authorities declared her dead. Her remains were found in Brooklyn Park nearly four years later, and now prosecutors have charged a homeless man with killing her.

Mo Savoy Hicks, who has recently lived in shelters in Minneapolis, was charged Wednesday with second-degree intentional murder in Judy Lynn Rush's death.

Hicks lived in New Brighton at the time of the slaying and was a suspect early on. When asked about the delay in filing charges, Assistant Anoka County Attorney Paul Young said he could not comment on a pending case.

Anoka County Sheriff's Office Commander Paul Sommer said authorities aren't required to have a victim's body to file a murder charge, but not having one can be problematic. Sommer said Hicks was never off investigators' radar, and they were always hopeful they'd find Rush.

Hicks, 35, made his first court appearance Wednesday and was ordered held on $1 million bail. His attorney's name was not immediately available.

According to a criminal complaint, authorities were asked to check on Rush's welfare on Aug. 22, 2007. They found her apartment in disarray and what appeared to be blood on the floor and blood spatter on the bedroom wall. The next day, they found large pools of dried blood on the bed and on the floor, as well as bloody footprints in the hallway.

"Based on the volumes of blood present in the apartment, it was believed a significant injury, or possibly death, happened at the apartment," according to the complaint.

Authorities interviewed Hicks, who told police he knew Rush from work, and that they drank together and had a sexual relationship. He denied "knowledge of wrong-doing," the complaint said.

Hicks told police he last saw Rush when he left her apartment the morning of Aug. 4. He returned later that day and entered with a key Rush had given him, according to the complaint.

He first told police he didn't see any blood. But then he changed his story and said that he did.

"The defendant said he then panicked and thought others would think he was involved in something," according to the complaint. He told police he took items from the apartment that might have had his fingerprints on them and dumped them in a trash bin.

Hicks' mother told police she saw him take items from the trunk of his car and throw them away. She found a lilac colored, fitted bed sheet in the trash, which matched the single sheet police found on the bloody bed, according to the complaint.

The medical examiner concluded at the time that Rush died from homicidal violence, and a judge declared her dead on July 21, 2008.

Then nearly three weeks ago, on April 8, 2011, two high school students found skeletal remains near a drainage area of a park in Brooklyn Park. DNA testing determined the remains were Rush's.

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