Oak Park man to be tried in Backpage.com slaying

Oralandar Brand-Williams

A 26-year-old Oak Park man was ordered Friday to stand trial on first-degree murder charges in the stabbing death of a 24-year-old woman he met on the social media site Backpage.com.

Jerome Moore will be tried in the homicide of Cynthia Worthy, whose body was found partially clothed Aug. 17 in an alley near Davison and Holmur on Detroit’s west side. She had been stabbed to death, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Christina Guirguis said Friday during the preliminary hearing for Moore.

The cause of death was a stab wound to the chest.

Moore and Worthy allegedly met on Backpage.com. Her death is the latest homicide connected to the online escort service.

Sgt. Michael McGinnis, who analyzes cellular phone data for the Detroit Police Department, testified that data from both Worthy and Moore’s cellphones indicate the Oak Park man’s phone was the last one the woman called before her death.

McGinnis added the victim was in an area not far from Moore’s Oak Park residence when she placed the call in the predawn hours of Aug. 15.

Her body was found two days later. Investigators are not sure what day she was killed or where she was killed.

“We don’t know if she died at the Oak Park house or she died while being transported (in Moore’s vehicle),” Guirguis said Friday.

Guirguis said DNA matching Worthy’s was found at the man’s family’s home and in a vehicle belonging to Moore, as well as items connected to him. The woman’s white Chevy Trailblazer SUV was found a few blocks from Moore’s home.

Defense attorney William Winters, who is representing Moore, asked that his client not be bound over on first-degree murder charges, saying authorities only had “circumstantial” evidence in the case.

Guirguis said it was evident that Moore killed Worthy and that he deliberately stabbed her. The assistant prosecutor said Moore “lured” Worthy to his family’s home on Dartmouth in the 10 Mile and Rosewood area.

Moore’s next court date is Nov. 13.

Last year, Sterling Heights resident James Brown was convicted of killing four local woman he met through Backpage and then putting their bodies in the trunks of cars. The bodies of two of the women were set ablaze in a car.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

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