WEST JORDAN — Sara Davis didn't think at first that the dirty, odorous man who appeared to be walking with a limp when he came into her coffee shop on June 29 was the man who had just robbed a bank across the street 20 minutes earlier.
"He didn't strike me as someone who just robbed a bank at all. I mean, he was really strange," Davis recalled Thursday.
But she pointed police in the direction of where the man had walked off, and he was arrested by detectives within five minutes. A couple of days later, police and prosecutors announced that the man, 41-year-old Terry Lee Black, was also being charged with kidnapping and murder in the death of 6-year-old Sierra Newbold.
Black was scheduled to make his first appearance in court Thursday on charges of robbery and for possessing a stolen vehicle, but he did not show up. Prosecutor Paul Parker told 3rd District Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills that Black refused to be transported from the Salt Lake County Jail to the courthouse.
Black also has a hearing scheduled for Friday morning on the murder, kidnapping and rape charges and is expected to be compelled to attend.
While excellent detective work was being credited for helping solve the case, police also had help from two women, including Davis, who provided important information to detectives.
On June 29, police believe Black stole a Jeep Grand Cherokee parked at Deseret Industries, 7166 S. Redwood Road. The vehicle was shared by Melinda Ramsey and her boyfriend, Ryan Bridge. Bridge had parked his car in front of the store to run in and get his paycheck. When he came out 15 minutes later, the vehicle was gone.
The car was stolen while employees were gathered in the store for a morning meeting, something that happens at the same time each day.
"It's almost like he might have known everyone was busy at that time," Bridge speculated. "It's hard to say. He walked past and waited for everyone to go inside."
A store surveillance camera showed Black walking toward Bridge's Jeep, which was off camera, he said. Moments later, the vehicle was gone.
After Bridge called Ramsey and told her what had happened, Ramsey called her boss Rena Carder, and passed the news along to her.
About the same time, Carder was on her way to Wells Fargo Bank, 7869 S. Redwood Road, to make a deposit. When she got there, she spotted Ramsey's Jeep backed into a parking stall. She thought the stolen car had been abandoned and dialed the police department's non-emergency dispatch number.
What she didn't know was that inside the bank, prosecutors say Black had just robbed a teller of $100. When the man in the bank went back to the parking lot, Carder was still there and watched as he tried to get back into the Jeep.
"I said, 'I got two seconds to do something here, and that's to get in your face,'" said Carder.
She approached Black and told him, "No. That's not your car."
What stood out to Carder was how bad the man "stunk" and how dirty he was, she said.
Carder said Black "looked at me weird" and attempted to get in the vehicle again. That's when Carder again told him, "No!" She said Black gave a grunt and then walked away, wearing a coat Ramsey had left inside her vehicle. Carder took three cellphone pictures of Black as he was walking off. She watched as he walked across Redwood Road to a strip mall where he attempted to steal another vehicle parked in front of Gold's Gym, she said. He also dumped the coat he was wearing in the parking lot.
That's when police believe Black walked into High Point Coffee, 1735 W. 7800 South. He went to the counter and asked if they could break a $100 bill into five $20 bills.
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