Newburg man facing extradition for 15-year-old Florida murder case

Harry Leach of Newburg was arrested for his suspected involvement in the 1997 murder of Pluma Sanford.

A 52-year-old Newburg man faces extradition to Florida for his suspected involvement in a 1997 homicide.

Phelps County detectives served Harry Leach with a fugitive arrest warrant Wednesday based on a Florida arrest warrant for capital murder and kidnapping.

Pluma Sanford was killed in her Okaloosa County home on August 15, 1997. The 73-year-old's murder went unsolved for 15 years, until a sample of Leach's DNA was linked to the crime.

Leach was arrested on January 23, 2012, for a domestic assault involving a weapon in Phelps County and later placed on probation. A DNA sample was taken in October, in compliance with new laws mandating DNA samples submitted for anyone arrested for a felony.

That DNA sample went into the Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS), a national database used to verify identities, identify those who may have committed other crimes and identify unknown remains, among other uses.

CODIS notified Okaloosa County of a possible match on November 16. On December 11, Okaloosa detectives arrived in Phelps County to interview Leach and to get a fresh DNA sample for their crime lab to use for comparison.

Leach returned to the Phelps County Jail at that time for a probation violation. He went back Wednesday, where he remains with a $1 million bond.