Wednesday, March 03, 1999

Death hampers fake-ID inquiry

Key suspect was a mystery

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The death of a mysterious key suspect in a Butler County fake-identification ring leaves police with more questions and fewer leads, but no plans to end their investigation.

        The suspect, who Butler County sheriff's investigators think was named either Lynda D. Davidson or Lynda D. London, was found dead of an apparent heart attack in her cell at the Marion County, Ind., jail early Saturday. After her arrest in West Chester last month, the woman had been extradited to Indiana to face charges of forgery and receiving stolen property. She was scheduled to face sim ilar charges in Butler County later.

        Investigators said the woman had as many as seven aliases and six Social Security numbers, and that they are still uncertain of her real name.

        During a preliminary hearing Friday in Marion County Common Pleas Court, her bond was raised to $500,000. She was a major suspect in Butler County and federal in vestigations into a wide-ranging local ring that produces and sells false identifications.

        Officials at the jail, near Indianapolis, told Butler County deputies that the 51-year-old woman was found dead at 3:45 a.m. of an apparent heart attack.

        “There is no question her death will affect our investigation,” said Butler County Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Craft. “But it only damages it. It does not end it.”

        Sgt. Craft said the woman had lived in Butler County previously and that at one time had relatives here. But he added that “she's been all over the country.”

        Ms. Davidson — or Ms. London — has been traced to names and addresses in Indiana, Florida, and North and South Carolina, Sgt. Craft said. She had a record of producing driver's licenses from all 50 states and Social Security cards that looked legitimate.

        Along with investigators from the U.S. Inspector General's Office and the Secret Service, Butler County investigators are continuing to track suspects in the fake-ID ring.

        FBI investigators in Indiana said their file on the dead woman was the largest of any suspect wanted for producing false identifications.


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