DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — A family is one step closer to justice after an arrest has been made in Brittany McDowell’s death.
John Bartholomew, 24, was taken into custody Tuesday around noon.
McDowell’s body was found in a shallow grave at Alum Creek State Park on July 4.
When McDowell’s family answered the phone Tuesday afternoon, they said what they heard on the other line was unexpected.
“They informed us that the murderer had been found and he was arrested,” McDowell’s grandmother Sharon Heally said.
Less than a week after investigators said McDowell was shot several times and dumped in a shallow grave at Alum Creek State Park, her accused killer was arrested.
“Thank you, Jesus,” Heally said.
Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin said Bartholomew is being charged with murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
“We are confident right now that he was working alone,” Martin said.
He said they think this was a one-time encounter and a tip from the community led detectives to the suspect.
“I finally got some sleep. I was up for like four days without sleeping or eating,” McDowell’s father Robert McDowell said.
Even though someone is now being charged for McDowell’s death, her father said it doesn’t take the pain away.
“I feel better that they caught him, but I don’t think there will ever be closure for me,” McDowell said.
Even after the arrest, the family said they are still left with more questions than answers.
“We know one thing, but why? Why did you do it? Why did you pick Brittany? Why would you do this? A lot of whys,” McDowell’s aunt Doris King said.
The sheriff said the suspect has no prior criminal history.