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40-year-old cold case solved after man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in Howard County

Howard County police
Posted at 4:20 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2023-01-05 16:46:26-05

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — UPDATE: Howard Jackson Bradberry has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Bradberry entered an Alford plea on July 12, 2022 to a charge of second-degree murder in a long-unsolved kidnapping case dating back to the early 80’s.

The Howard County Police Department solved a 40-year-old cold case after 64-year-old Howard Jackson Bradberry entered an Alford plea today.

The plea was to the charge of a second-degree murder in an unsolved kidnapping case dating back to the early 80's.

On March 29, 1982, 28-year-old Laney Lee McGadney, left her apartment in Columbia to walk to a grocery store in the Owen Brown Village Center.

Witnesses described seeing McGadney being abducted as she walked along Oakland Mills Road.

Her body was found in what is now known as Water Lily Way.

Investigation showed that she had been raped and stabbed to death. McGadney was a mother of four children.


At the time of the incident, police were unable to identify the person who committed the crime.

Since then, cold case investigators from the Howard County Police Department have been investigating. In 2021, DNA results performed on items at the scene linked Bradberry to the crime.

"For four decades, no one was held responsible for the brutal and senseless killing of a young woman whose life was cut short by the violent actions of the defendant," said State's Attorney Rich Gibson.