have just made two arrests in the cold case murder of Davida Burns.
Burns, 42, was beaten to death in a home in the 3900 block of East 121st Street, only found after a fire there back in November 2013. While extinguishing the fire, crews found her body in the basement. She had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead on the scene.
No one was arrested at the time because there were no immediate suspects. Cleveland homicide investigators spent more than a year following up.
Court records show the big break came from DNA. Investigators found one suspect's DNA on the body. Another suspect's DNA was found "on a surface near the body." More key DNA was found near the crime scene.
Mario Welch, 41, and Willie Powell, 39, have been arrested on warrants for the homicide and records show both had been in that home with Burns. The U.S. Marshal's Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Welch in the 11300 block of Proctor Court in Cleveland and Powell at the intersection of Northfield and William roads in Bedford Heights.
"The details of this crime were horrific. Our task force members immediately prioritized these cases once warrants were received by Cleveland homicide detectives. We hope these arrests help bring closure to the victim's family," said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.
Welch has a felony record that dates back to the early 90s. Powell is a convicted sex offender.
The pair remains in jail, awaiting formal charges and a court date.
Anyone with information regarding any wanted fugitive can contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED. You can also send a tip by texting the keyword "WANTED" with your tip to TIP411, or submit a tip online. Reward money is available and tipsters may remain anonymous.