Mifflinburg, Pa. – Just four days after Rebecca Landrith’s body was found in the snow along the off-ramp of Interstate 80 in western Union County, a suspect was arrested.
Clues left inside of Landrith’s leather jacket led police to the arrest of her alleged killer. The jacket contained the name, phone number, and email address of Tracy Ray Rollins Jr., 28, of Dallas, Texas.
Rollins was arrested by state police in Connecticut Wednesday and will be extradited back to Pennsylvania to face a felony charge of homicide and a misdemeanor of abuse of a corpse.
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According to the affidavit filed by Trooper Tyler Watson of Pennsylvania State Police at Milton, Landrith, 47, of Virginia, was shot at least 18 times in the head, neck, and chest inside the cab of his 2018 Volvo tractor-trailer. Landrith also had two gunshot wounds on her hands, indicating a defensive wound, Watson wrote.
Her body was found shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday morning by a PennDOT worker at mile marker 199 near Mile Run along the off-ramp of Interstate 80 East in West Buffalo Township (initial reports indicated White Deer Township).
At the time, Landrith, who was a formerly a model in New York, had on clothes but no shoes and socks. She was lying on her back along the shoulder of the off-ramp, Watson wrote. A black fur-lined hat soaked in blood was found nearby.
In the days leading up to the discovery of the body, Landrith had traveled with Rollins in his tractor-trailer through several states, according to the affidavit.
Police followed a paper trail to track down Rollins. Through receipts found in Landrith’s jacket, police were able to match dates and times to surveillance footage at several restaurants and convenience stores in Wisconsin and Indiana. The surveillance footage from the Wisconsin and Indiana locations showed a man fitting Rollins’ description with Landrith as they traveled through on Feb. 4.
Police also uncovered data from the cell phone number found in Landrith’s pocket after applying for a search warrant granted by Union County President Judge Michael Hudock. The data information matched the locations found on the receipts and surveillance footage from the restaurants and travel plazas that the pair had stopped at in their travels.
Historical location and current data from Rollins’ cell phone indicated he reached Pennsylvania near Mackeyville on Interstate 80 shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday. He reached Union County in the area where Landrith was found at 12:11 a.m. on Sunday and was in the vicinity for 15 minutes, according to the affidavit. That area of Interstate 80 is a remote area, surrounded by state forest land. The only landmark next to the Mile Run interchange is a PennDOT stockpile.
Cell phone records indicate that after the brief stop near Mile Run, Rollins traveled north and arrived in Pittston, Pa., the morning of Feb. 7. He then continued north to Maine and spent the night there at a truck stop, according to the affidavit.
On Tuesday, Rollins was in Woodland, Maine, and picked up a load for delivery from a paper mill where he signed his name on a COVID-19 questionnaire.
As police were getting closer to Rollin’s trail by Tuesday, they found out from Milford Police in Connecticut that Landrith’s 2007 Honda Civic, which had South Dakota plates, was towed from a CITGO gas station four days prior. The gas station owner told police that the car had been sitting abandoned in the parking lot for several days, according to the affidavit. Police had previously indicated that Landrith had ties to South Dakota, and PennLive reported that her father lives there.
Employees at a Pilot Travel Center next to the CITGO station told police they were familiar with Landrith and said she frequented the truck stop with different truck drivers often, police said.
Rollins truck was located on Wednesday at a TA Travel Center in Milldale, Connecticut by members of the Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Unit. Police said he was observed behind the wheel. After Rollins drove away, a traffic stop was initiated and he was detained for questioning.
Trooper Watson wrote in the affidavit that troopers observed “what appeared to be bleach/cleaning solution covering a large portion of the passenger seat and floor of Tracy Rollins’ truck tractor.”
Rollins was taken to the state police barracks in Connecticut where he was read his Miranda rights and agreed to be interviewed. Rollins was shown pictures of Landrith and denied knowing her, Watson wrote.
However, Rollins told police he had a female companion, “Leslie,” accompany him on his truck routes. He told police that he met “Leslie” at a truck stop near Milford, Connecticut, “because he believed her vehicle had broken down.”
Through investigating, police found that Landrith had booked a hotel in Milford, Connecticut, in December under the name “Leslie Myers,” according to the affidavit.
“Leslie” had traveled with Rollins through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indian, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The pair had stopped at various travel plazas, including the ones found on the receipts uncovered in Landrith’s jacket.
At one point during the police interview, as they continued to press Rollins about his travel, he stated, “I hate to start lying to you because this is a murder investigation,” according to the affidavit. Watson noted in the affidavit that, “at no time during the interview leading up to this statement was Rollins advised nor presented any information that this was a murder investigation.”
Police obtained a search warrant for Rollins’ truck and found blood and human evidence that revealed that someone had been shot and killed. In addition, police found six spent shell casings from a 9mm handgun and multiple bullet strikes in the cab. They also found human matter on the top stair outside of the passenger door, according to the affidavit. The bullet strike locations indicated that the rounds were discharged from within the cab of the truck.
It still has not been determined exactly where Rollins’ truck was parked when the shooting took place or how long Landrith had been dead before he dumped the body in Union County.
Rollins is currently being held on $1 million bail at the Hartford Correctional Center in Connecticut. Charges were filed at Judge Jeffrey C. Mensch’s office in Mifflinburg, where Rollins will be arraigned upon his extradition to Pennsylvania.