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After 40 years, Maryland man pleads guilty to murder of 28-year-old mother of 4

In 1982, Laney McGadney was kidnapped while walking to the grocery store in Howard County, Maryland, according to officials. Now, her killer has confessed.

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — Editor's Note: This story contains facts that may be disturbing to some. Reader discretion advised. 

A man in Howard County, Maryland has pleaded guilty to a cold case dating back to the 1980s. 

On Tuesday, Howard Bradberry -- a now 64-year-old man --pled to a second-degree murder charge in the death of Lane McGadney. 

It was 40 years ago when the 28-year-old mother of four children was abducted while walking to the grocery store in Owen Brown Village Center in Maryland. McGadney was taken on March 29, 1982, and witnesses said they saw her get kidnapped on Oakland Mills Road. Later that day, her body was found in a lot now known as Water Lily Way and officials say she was raped and stabbed to death.

Credit: Howard County Police Department
Photo of Laney McGadney

In 1982, police had evidence from the scene and conducted a lengthy investigation, but were unable to identify a suspect. However, police revisited the case in the hopes of finding new leads, and in 2021 new information surfaced. Police found that DNA evidence that was originally discarded from the scene of the 1982 crime matching Bradberry.

Bradberry was arrested on May 25, 2021 at his home and was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree rape, second-degree rape and kidnapping. 

"For four decades, no one was held responsible for the brutal and senseless killing of a young woman whose life was cut short by the violent actions of the defendant," Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson said. "We hope that today’s guilty plea provides some closure to the McGadney family who has had to wait an inordinate amount of time for justice for their loved one.”

Bradberry is set to be sentenced on Dec. 1, 2022, and could face up to 25 years in prison. 

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