San Diego

Husband of Jamul Woman Found Dead By Hikers Arrested Two Years Later

Melissa Whitby's husband Winnie Whitby was acquitted of a double murder charge in Maryland in the 1990s.

The husband of a woman who was found dead in Jamul nearly two years ago was arrested Tuesday in Maryland, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department announced.

The SDSO, Maryland State Police and U.S. Marshals Service agents took 49-year-old Winnie Whitby into custody in Goldsboro, Maryland, on a murder warrant.

Deputies say evidence gathered over the course of their investigation into the death of Melissa Whitby, 49, linked Winnie to her murder.

Melissa was reported missing December 30, 2016, and her body was discovered by hikers seven days later along the Skyline Truck Trail, about a mile and a half away from the couple's home.

Deputies said Winnie told investigators Melissa left the home the night before she was reported missing. When her body was discovered, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office determined Melissa died from trauma sustained to her upper body and confirmed the manner of her death was a homicide.

Deputies did not reveal any information about the evidence that led to Winnie's arrest.

The sheriff's department is asking anyone with information about the incident to call the SDSO Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330 or after hours at (858) 565-5200, or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers online or by calling (888) 580-8477.

NBC 7 learned in January that Winnie was tried and acquitted of a double murder charge in Maryland in the 1990s.

An NBC 7 reporter spoke briefly to Perry a few days after hikers found his wife's body.

He said a few words through the screen door of his home, including that he last saw his wife on Dec. 29, 2016. Perry said he had been in contact with Melissa a few times before reporting her missing to deputies on Dec. 31, 2016.

He also said he had been fully cooperative with investigators, but declined an interview, adding, “[I’ve] been through this before and [I] know how this all works."

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