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Maryland man found in New York, allegedly shot girlfriend to death before setting apartment on fire

Posted at 9:43 AM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 11:52:10-04

CHILLUM, Md. — Police in Maryland say a woman who was found dead in a burning apartment had been fatally shot before her boyfriend set the fire.

Prince George's County police said authorities discovered the body of 23-year-old Zena Nichols last Friday night in the 7000 block of Highview Terrace.

Officials said autopsy results showed Nichols suffered multiple gunshot wounds prior to sustaining severe burns in the blaze.

Police said they found 42-year-old Jerome John Harris in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday night, and took him into custody on an arrest warrant charging him with first- and second-degree murder as well as arson.

Investigators identified Harris as Nichols' boyfriend and said the two lived together.

The motive for the domestic-related murder remains under investigation.

A reward of up to $25,000 had been offered for information leading to Harris' arrest.

He remains in New York pending extradition to Maryland.

Anyone with information on this case should call 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477)

WMAR Staff and Associated Press contributed to this article