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Man indicted for cold case killing of woman 30 years ago

<i>WESH</i><br/>Investigators say 53-year-old Michael Townson confessed to the murder of Linda Little who disappeared in 1991.
Investigators say 53-year-old Michael Townson confessed to the murder of Linda Little who disappeared in 1991.

By WESH Staff

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    DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (WESH) — A man already serving life in prison in Florida for the murder of a Brevard County woman has now been indicted in the murder of a woman in Daytona Beach decades ago.

Investigators say 53-year-old Michael Townson confessed to the murder of Linda Little who disappeared in 1991.

Though her body has not been found, police say the confession includes details that only the killer would know.

“I’ve been praying for closure and God’s good. God worked through him, for him to have confessed to this,” Wanda Hinson, Linda Little’s sister, said.

Hinson says she often thinks of her older sister who was just 43 when she went missing.

Little left work at the Chart House in October 1991, rode her bicycle across the bridge and disappeared.

Thirty-one years later, police say Townson confessed to Little’s murder. The convicted killer was briefly transferred to a state prison in Daytona Beach in 2020 and asked to speak to detectives.

“Unfortunately, it just appears it was a random meeting and unfortunately on the wrong day at the wrong time, Linda just met the wrong person,” said Det. Sgt. Dave Dinardi with the Daytona Beach Police Department.

Police are withholding some details, like how the accused says Little died or where he dumped the body. They say an area has been searched, but so far, no body has been found.

Police believe Townson is a serial killer because other agencies in and out of state are working cases based on his information. Townson claims he was sexually abused by men as a child and that led him to kill, according to police.

“Blames his mother and other women in his life for not protecting him as a child, and as a result he developed a hatred for women,” Daytona Beach police Chief Jakari Young said.

Police say Townson, who lived in Orlando at the time, liked to come to Daytona Beach and met the victim at a beachside hotel bar.

“They met randomly. They met. They were enjoying a few drinks together and then something happened that, in his words, just caused him to snap,” Dinardi said.

“I’ve already forgiven Townson,” Hinson said.

The victim’s sister said she’s thankful Townson made admissions. She would still like to bury Little’s remains, but at least she finally knows what happened.

“I refuse to live in fear, hate and anger. It doesn’t help me. It doesn’t hurt anybody else except me,” Hinson said.

Police say Townson will be returned to Volusia County to stand trial for first-degree murder.

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