Inside look at solving a murder case

Inside look at solving a murder case

They do the tough, gritty work of tracking leads and solving the murders that grip our community. I'm talking about detectives with our local police and sheriff's offices.

Here is one of their stories: The time—around midnight on June 23, 2014. Jacob Lee Music confessed to detectives in an interrogation room interview.  You hear him say, "Did I kill Bridget? You're g****d right I did."

Bridget Music, 30, his estranged wife was the murder victim. Her throat was slit, her head nearly decapitated, her body dumped in a canal. That is the grisly conclusion to a case that began only the day before.

Turn the clock back to June 22nd at 2:36 a.m. Jacob showed up at a friend's house.  Detective Ron Wentz, a 21 year veteran with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, remembers it well.  Wentz told me, "And when he (Jacob) showed back up he was covered in blood and they have a knife missing from their house."

The clock began ticking for Detective Wentz at 5 a.m. that same day. He's an arson investigator and got word of a vehicle fire. It involved a car Bridget had borrowed—a car abandoned on U.S. Highway 1.

"Someone had dumped the car," Wentz said, "and burned it to cover up evidence."  Bridget had a drug history, Wentz told me. Still it didn't add up.  He told me, "My gut is telling me something is wrong. Even if she had traded the car temporarily for drugs, why would they have burned the car?"

Detective Wentz spent the day chasing clues. Then at 6 p.m. on June 22nd Jacob volunteered to talk to detectives. "He is crying uncontrollably", Wentz said.

Jacob was clutching a bloody gold chain and telling tall tales. Wentz recounted,"He was run off the road by a drug dealer from Indian River County who claimed he killed Bridget and threw the necklace to Jacob and said I want $15,000 or I'm going to do the same to you and your girlfriend."

Wentz was not buying the story—not when he considered that Jacob was nothing more than a street level drug dealer. Wentz said, "That (story) was really strange to me. We are not talking about drug cartels here."

It is 7:52 p.m. Detective Wentz was driving Jacob to another interview with investigators in Indian River County.  Jacob became "fidgety and upset" on the drive. Police cars were stopped on Indrio Road—their lights flashing on an unrelated case—and it spooked Jacob.  Detective Wentz did not know why, at least not at that moment. He said, "Jacob thought we had found her body which is on the road we are on now, which is Immokalee Road."

Fast forward to noon on June 23rd. A witness came forward with the story an increasingly nervous Jacob told him overnight. "He makes some comments," Wentz said, "the cops have already found her body, decapitated  in a canal off Indrio Road."

Only the killer could know those details.Detectives quickly began scouring local canals—including the off Immokalee Road. At 3:56 p.m. they found Bridget's body in that canal.

Finally, at 8:48 p.m. on June 23rd—a tip leads to a Fort Pierce hotel. Jacob is finished running, tripped by his own words. A whodunit was solved thanks to Detective Wentz and his team. The question—why did Jacob do it?    "She was the love of his life," Wentz said, "(and) according to him if she couldn't be with him she couldn't be with anybody."

Jacob bet he could lie his way past detectives. He bet wrong. Detective Wentz said, "What drives me is being able to bring closure to that family. Just because someone is murdered, the whole family is a victim.

Jacob Music would later say he  also planned to kill a girlfriend he was with the night of his arrest.It was a second brutal death avoided by good detective work. Music pleaded guilty to killing Bridget Music. He now sits in a Florida prison—serving a life sentence.

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