Fingerprint Match Leads to Arrest in 1998 Cold Case Murder in Delray Beach: Police

Todd Barket, 51, was taken into custody Wednesday morning on a first-degree murder charge in the August 1998 killing of 68-year-old Sondra Better

032719 Todd Barket Sondra Better
Delray Beach Police

More than 20 years after a woman was murdered in a South Florida consignment shop, police have arrested a man they say is responsible for her killing after authorities said fingerprints he submitted to a potential employer matched those found at the scene.

Todd Barket, 51, was taken into custody Wednesday morning on a first-degree murder charge in the August 1998 killing of 68-year-old Sondra Better, Delray Beach Police officials said.

Police say Better was working at Lu Shay’s Consignment Shop on South Federal Highway alone when she was violently stabbed and bludgeoned to death. The killer left blood at the scene and fingerprints on a heavy decorative ball, police said.

The killer's fingerprints and blood samples were entered into national databases but there were no matches until December 2018, when Barket submitted his fingerprints for a background check by a potential employer, officials said.

Not only did the fingerprints match, DNA found at the scene also matched Barket, authorities said. Barket, who was 29 years old at the time, lived in nearby Lantana at the time of the killing and matched the description of a man who was seen by a witness discussing the price of a couch with Better at the shop just before the murder, police said.

Barket was being held in the Hillsborough County jail without bond Wednesday, and will be extradited to Palm Beach County. Attorney information wasn't available.

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