A homeless man was charged Monday with first-degree murder in connection with the death of an elderly Lincoln woman last week.
Austin Dehaas, arrested in Kimball Sunday, faces charges of first-degree murder and the use of a weapon to commit a felony for the stabbing death of 61-year-old Barbara Reid, Lincoln Police said.
Police contacted the Kimball police department Sunday after obtaining an arrest warrant and learning that Dehaas had friends in the area, said John Colburn, Lancaster County chief deputy attorney.
Kimball police said they arrested Dehaas on the Lincoln warrant at a friend's house there.
Reid was found dead in her apartment at 1900 F St. Saturday by her son-in-law Douglas Hicks, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Hicks told police he went to the apartment to check on Reid because he and his wife had been unable to contact Reid for several days.
After a locksmith let him in, Hicks found Reid lying in her bed with the covers pulled over her face.
When Hicks looked at her face he saw she was dead and called police.
Lincoln Police Sgt. Jim Spanel, the investigating officer, found Reid wearing only a blood-stained sweatshirt with an apparent stab wound in the middle of her chest.
Preliminary autopsy results Monday morning found that the chest stab wound was the cause of death, Colburn said.
Police are unsure of the exact time of death, but complete autopsy results should be available in a few weeks, Colburn said.
Upon further investigation, a knife believed to be the murder weapon was found in the kitchen of Reid's apartment, Colburn said.
After contacting friends of Reid police determined that Dehaas had been living with Reid off and on for the past few weeks.
A woman who met Reid when they were at Lancaster County Jail Detoxification Center for treatment last year told police she talked to Dehaas when she called Reid's apartment.
The woman told police she had helped Dehaas cash a personal check from Reid last Tuesday.
Dehaas told the woman his mother had wired him $500 to Reid's account and he needed help verifying who he was to the bank.
Dehaas also told someone calling for Reid Tuesday morning that she was unconscious after drinking half a bottle of vodka, according to the arrest warrant.
Neither Reid's acquaintance nor her son-in-law Hicks were able to contact Reid after Tuesday.
Further investigation showed that Dehaas had tried to sell Reid's television and VCR for $30 to a Lincoln woman.
Police also talked to Alfred Walker, who roomed with Dehaas at the Hastings Regional Center.
Dehaas had told Walker he was staying with an elderly lady named Barbara during the week of Reid's death.
Friday morning, Dehaas showered at Walker's apartment and shaved off his mustache, police said.
Dehaas told Walker he was leaving town and had to get out of here.
Police transferred Dehaas to the Lancaster County Jail Sunday.
Bond was set at $1 million, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 20.