In June of 1989, Dorothy LeConte, 22, of Haiti, who had come to the area to study at Technical Career Institute in New York, took a trip to Hempstead to visit her aunt and brother. She was found strangled to death and apparently raped under a footbridge near the high school. Yesterday Hempstead police made an arrest in the case
. Joey Bethea (mugshot left
), 17 at the time of the murder, had been living upstate for years, working most recently as a laborer at the Wagner-Nineveh sawmill. He'd never been fingered for the crime before, but in a recent arrest of Bethea for stealing money from a tip jar (which he played off to friends as a fake arrest relating to his "undercover" police work), cops got a DNA sample from him, and this was found to be a match for DNA found at the LeConte crime scene.
The folks back home in Bainbridge, New York are surprised at Bethea's arrest: "never had any problem with him," says his boss at the sawmill; "place is always immaculate," says his landlord; "I never felt I was in danger from him," says a female friend, "but he did steal from me."
Bethea maintains his innocence.