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DA and Yeadon Police announce arrest for murder in fatal 2015 shooting

DATE:  June 6, 2016
Emily H. Harris- 610.891.4163

District Attorney Jack Whelan, Chief Donald Molineux of the Yeadon Borough Police Department, Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) joined by the Citizens Crime Commission announced a warrant for the arrest of Rodney Talbo Shelton of North Carolina, who is charged with the fatal shooting of 63-year old Thomas Childs of Aston on June 9, 2015 during a robbery outside Ridgway Industries in Yeadon Borough. 

An arrest warrant has been issued for Rodney Talbo Shelton, II, 37, of the 900 block of Shillingtown Road, Elizabeth City, located in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. He is charged with first, second and third-degree murder, robbery and various related firearms charges. 

On June 9, 2015 at approximately 3:51 a.m., Yeadon Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious individual at the industrial complex located at 6250 Baltimore Avenue in Yeadon Borough. When police arrived, they found the body of Thomas Childs lying next to his delivery truck in the loading dock of Ridgway Industries. His body was face-up with gunshot wounds to his body and his pant pocket turned inside out. At the scene, a witness told Det. Joseph Houghton of the Yeadon Police Department that while driving his delivery truck into the industrial park, he heard a noise and noticed an unknown light-skinned black male walking away from the area of the warehouse where Thomas Childs was found. As he approached closer, he noticed the man reach into his waistband area as if to reach for a weapon. As the two men started to pass each other, the suspicious individual ran away.

From the crime scene established and processed by the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Crime Scene Unit, detectives discovered two fired .9mm cartridge casings. Investigators were also able to obtain a description of the suspect for a police sketch and a partial shoe impression. Investigators located the victim’s cellphone in Fernwood Cemetery and a .9mm high point handgun with the serial number defaced. Det. Louis Grandizio of the CID Ballistic Unit recovered the serial number and the gun was traced to North Carolina by ATF Special Agents Mark Monaghan and John Bowman.

“This announcement comes just three days before the one-year anniversary of Thomas Childs senseless, ruthless murder. We are now on the heels this cold hearted killer, and are asking for the public’s help to locate him and bring justice for his family,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “This investigation is an example of outstanding police work by Yeadon Police, ATF and our Criminal Investigation Division, and has been a collaborative effort by our county and federal partners including U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger and the Office of the Attorney who approved the search warrant. I commend Yeadon Det. Joseph Houghton and CID Det. Michael Jay for their efforts in identifying the killer and for the ATF and U.S. Marshals for their continued, relentless efforts to pin down the killer’s whereabouts.” 

"Intentionally taking a life by gunfire is an act of violence that will never go unanswered. Law enforcement will work together to identity, pursue, and incarcerate murderers who bring violence into our communities,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi.  "I applaud the agents and detectives, along with our county and federal prosecutors, who were tenacious and relentless throughout this investigation to identify and charge the alleged killer."

Rodney Talbo Shelton, II is a 37-year old black male, described to be light-skinned with freckles with tattoos on his neck and head; 6'0" inches tall, weighing approximately 205 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair. His most predominate tattoo is of a spider-web that spans across the top of his head. Shelton is considered to be armed and dangerous. 

A reward of up to $20,000 is being administered by Citizens Crime Commission, with information leading to the whereabouts, arrest and conviction of Rodney Talbo Shelton, II.  Contact the Citizens Crime Commission tip line at 215-546-TIPS (8477). All callers remain anonymous.