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Tuscaloosa County Homicide Unit makes arrest in 34 year old unsolved murder

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James Michael Hayes James Michael Hayes

James Michael Hayes, incarcerated at Draper Correctional Facility for the murder of Regina Quarles, has been charged with the 1978 murder of Teresa Carol White.

White was a suspect early in the 34 year old unsolved murder and was a suspect in another murder and two attempted murders.

In May 2012, the Tuscaloosa Metro Homicide Unit's Cold Case Unit reinvestigated the case. Inv. Marty Sellers took the lead on the case and continued the investigation even after he was promoted out of the Homicide Unit. The case was presented to the Grand Jury by Sellers and an indictment was issued for Capital Murder for James Michael Hayes. Hayes was brought to the Tuscaloosa County Jail on March 25 and was served the indictment for Capital Murder.

Case details from 1978 are:

On Saturday, April 15, 1978 at approximately 1:30 A.M. Teresa Carol White, age 18, left the Supermarket Lounge (located just West of Greensboro Avenue at Jug Factory Rd) on foot.  Later on that same Saturday the parents of Ms. White, called and made a missing person report because Ms. White had not shown up for work.  A report was taken by Tuscaloosa Police.  Mr. and Mrs. White began searching for Teresa but were unable to locate her.

On April 20, 1978 at approximately 5:50 a.m. witnesses found the deceased body of a white female in a wooded area near Lake Nichol Dam.  The Witnesses called the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Department. Tuscaloosa County Homicide Unit investigators also responded. The body was identified as Teresa White and the cause of death was found to be strangulation by ligature.

The investigation of the murder of Teresa White has continued since 1978.  James Michael Hayes was developed as a suspect early in the investigation as he was a suspect in three other cases involving strangulation of females.  (Two attempted murders and another murder.)  Three of the four occurred on a Saturday morning between 1:00 A.M. and 3:00 A.M. and originated from the Supermarket Lounge.

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