Auburn teen arrested in Murder of 66-year-old woman, victim identified

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UPDATE: Lee County Coroner Bill Harris has identified the victim as 66-year-old Martha (Marti) Jones White. Harris pronounced her dead at the scene. Preliminary results from a medical examination indicate she died from a single gunshot wound. Ross Jonathan McFarland, 16, has been charged in the murder.

News 3 can confirm law enforcement sources say the suspect in this case, 16-year-old Ross McFarland, is accused of murdering his father’s fiancé, who has been named as 66-year-old Martha Jones White. Ross McFarland is the child of a prominent and much beloved physician in the east Alabama community.

AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Auburn police have arrested a 16-year-old on Murder charges after a Thursday night homicide along Burke Place.

“On Oct. 18, 2019, at approximately 6:30 a.m., Auburn Police along with the assistance of members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Tallapoosa County Drug Task Force arrested Ross Jonathan McFarland, 16, of Auburn, on a warrant for Murder,” said Captain Lorenzo Dorsey.

Ross Jonathan McFarland
Source: Auburn Police

The arrest stems from an investigation into a homicide at the 700 block of Burke Place in Auburn where a female was found dead inside a home where the teen lives.

“At approximately 7 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2019, the Auburn Police Division responded to a residence on Burke Place after receiving a call reporting an unresponsive female. Officers discovered a 66-year-old female, affiliated with the residence, deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim’s name is being withheld until family notifications are completed,” said Dorsey.

Investigators say analysis of the scene resulted in McFarland, who resides at the residence on Burke Place, being developed as a suspect in the death.

“The Police Division obtained an arrest warrant and enlisted the aid of the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force; McFarland, a truck missing from the residence and what is believed to be the weapon used in the homicide, was located in the 10,000 block of Highway 50 near Dadeville and taken into custody,” said Dorsey.

Ross Jonathan McFarland has been charged with murder, transported to the Lee County jail and is held under a $150,000 bond.

This case remains under investigation by the Auburn Police Division and Lee County Coroner’s Office. Anyone with additional information regarding this crime is urged to contact the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140 or the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391.

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