Man arrested on suspicion of killing Anaconda cancer patient - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Man arrested on suspicion of killing Anaconda cancer patient

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Butte police took a homicide suspect into custody early Wednesday morning.

Sheriff Ed Lester said 52-year-old Troy Johnson was taken into custody around 7:30 AM.

Anaconda Police Chief Tim Barkell said Johnson is suspected of killing 64-year-old Shelley Schafer at 709 E. Park Street in Anaconda.

Barkell said Schafer died of blunt force trauma to the head. Credit cards, jewelery, and cash were taken from Schafer's home along with her vehicle. 

Johnson was recently released from prison and had some connection to Schafer, but police believe it was not a romantic relationship.

Barkell said Schafer had been battling cancer and when family members hadn't been able to reach her for a few days they sent a friend to her home. The friend found her dead Tuesday afternoon and called police. 

Barkell said Schafer was living in a duplex. They got a search warrant for the other half of the duplex and found Johnson's ID and a bed there. He said they suspect Johnson was squatting on that property. 

Johnson initially got away from police after a chase early Wednesday morning at about 3 a.m. 

A press release said he rolled his vehicle near Holmes Avenue and Hansen Road. 

Johnson will likely appear in court in Anaconda Thursday. 

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