Tuesday, May 01, 2001

DNA testing leads to murder charge

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — A 22-year-old Petersburg man, Richard A. Lambert, was charged Monday with murder and kidnapping in the death of a Newport woman after DNA tests found that blood in his pickup truck matched that of the victim, Boone County police said.

        The body of 22-year-old Rebecca Ritchie was pulled from the Ohio River near the Petersburg boat ramp on April 11. Police said the victim had died of multiple blows to the head.

        Mr. Lambert was previously charged with tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in the case. He is in the Boone County Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bond.

        Lt. Jack Banks of the Boone County Police said authorities think Ms. Ritchie was killed on or about Feb. 26. They think Mr. Lamber placed her body in the river from the boat ramp. Blood found on the ramp also matches that of the victim.

        Ms. Ritchie's body was recovered from the river a short distance downstream from the boat ramp. It had become entangled on boat dock pilings.

        Detectives from the police department's criminal investigation section handled the investigation that led to the charges.


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