Man charged with killing woman near local trail

WASHINGTON – St. Mary’s County investigators have charged a registered sex offender with murdering a Mechanicsville, Md., woman whose body was found near a local trail.

John M. Quade Jr., 31, of Lexington Park, Md., was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and robbery, according to the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations. The bureau is made up of detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Maryland State Police force.

Police identified Quade as a suspect in the death of 32-year-old Moneta Jo Strickland after spotting a person and a vehicle in surveillance footage from a business in the area near where Strickland’s body was found.

Police identified the vehicle’s owner as Quade, who also matched the description of a person seen on the trail. And police say they recovered evidence from Quade’s home that ties him to Strickland’s death.

Strickland’s family reported her missing Friday. Her car was later found at John V. Baggett Park at Laurel Grove and the Three Notch Trail. Her body was found near the trail.

The medical examiner’s office reports that Strickland died of blunt force trauma to her body. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Quade was taken to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and held to await a bond hearing.

Police say he is a registered sex offender. According to the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, Quade was convicted of a third-degree sex offense and is considered a third-tier registrant, meaning he will be on the registry for life.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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