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Fort Hood soldier charged in murder of woman found at Texas hotel

A Fort Hood soldier has been charged with murdering a woman whose body was found in a Texas hotel last summer, police said.

Cory Latrell Grafton, 20, was arrested Tuesday after DNA evidence found on the body of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham was found to match the active-duty soldier at the Texas Army post, Killeen police said Wednesday, ending a yearlong probe into the slaying.

“Through the investigation, detectives with the Homicide Unit received information from a witness that [Grafton] was at the scene at the time [Cheatham] was murdered,” department officials said.

In June 2019, police found Cheatham unconscious at a Days Inn in Killeen after getting a call about a woman who was not responsive. Officers and paramedics started life-saving efforts, but she was pronounced dead about an hour later, police said.

Cory Grafton (Bell County Inmate Lookup)

Cory Grafton (Bell County Inmate Lookup)

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It was unclear at the time whether Cheatham succumbed to natural causes, prompting an investigation into her death. An autopsy later ruled her death a homicide, while authorities have not released the woman’s cause of death.

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Grafton remained held in Bell County on $1 million bond Thursday, online records show. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney.

Fort Hood officials confirmed to CNN that Grafton is an active-duty soldier currently assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. Military records list Grafton’s first name as Corey, but he’s identified as Cory in police and jail records, Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam said.

“The unit continues to cooperate with the Killeen Police Department and the Texas Rangers,” Brautigam told CNN.

One of Grafton’s co-workers, meanwhile, told the Texas Department of Public Safety that he confessed to the slaying, the Daily Beast reported.

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Grafton was initially identified as a possible suspect via the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative program, which uses advanced DNA testing to crack unsolved cases. The Texas Rangers notified Killeen police about the program in early September, according to the Daily Beast.

The relationship between Grafton and Cheatham was not immediately clear.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post.

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Fort Hood solider charged in murder of woman found at Texas hotel

A Fort Hood solider has been charged with murdering a woman whose body was found in a Texas hotel last summer, police said.

Cory Latrell Grafton, 20, was arrested Tuesday after DNA evidence found on the body of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham was found to match the active duty soldier at the Texas Army post, Killeen police said Wednesday, ending a yearlong probe into the slaying.

“Through the investigation, detectives with the Homicide Unit received information from a witness that [Grafton] was at the scene at the time [Cheatham] was murdered,” department officials said.

In June 2019, police found Cheatham unconscious at a Days Inn in Killeen after getting a call about a woman who not responsive. Officers and paramedics started life-saving efforts, but she was pronounced dead about an hour later, police said.

It was unclear at the time whether Cheatham succumbed to natural causes, prompting an investigation into her death. An autopsy later ruled her manner of death to be homicide, while authorities have not released the woman’s cause of death.

Grafton remained held in Bell County on $1 million bond Thursday, online records show. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Cory Grafton
Cory GraftonKilleen Police

Fort Hood officials confirmed to CNN that Grafton is an active duty soldier currently assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. Military records list Grafton’s first name as Corey, but he’s identified as Cory in police and jail records, Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam said.

“The unit continue to cooperate with the Killeen Police Department and the Texas Rangers,” Brautigam told CNN.

One of Grafton’s coworkers, meanwhile, told the Texas Department of Public Safety that he confessed to the slaying, The Daily Beast reported.

Grafton was initially identified as a possible suspect via the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative program, which uses advanced DNA testing to crack unsolved cases. The Texas Rangers notified Killeen police about the program in early September, according to The Daily Beast.

The relationship between Grafton and Cheatham was not immediately clear.

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Fort Hood soldier arrested in 2019 murder of woman found dead at hotel

A Fort Hood soldier has been arrested in the slaying of a woman found dead at a Texas hotel last year.



a sign on the side of a road: A Fort Hood soldier has been arrested in connection with the 2019 killing of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham in Killeen, Texas, according to a news release from the Killeen Police Department.


© Jack Plunkett/FRE
A Fort Hood soldier has been arrested in connection with the 2019 killing of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham in Killeen, Texas, according to a news release from the Killeen Police Department.

Cory Grafton, an active-duty soldier assigned to the Texas base, was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with felony first-degree murder in connection with death of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham, according to a statement from the Killeen Police Department.

The 20-year-old was being held on $1 million bond and remained behind bars on Thursday, CNN reported.

Police were responding to a Days Inn motel in Killeen on June 3, 2019 when they found Cheatham unconscious and not breathing. Authorities attempted to revive her, but she was pronounced dead on the scene.

Initially, it was unclear whether Cheatham died of natural causes, but a recent autopsy labeled her death a homicide.

The case went unsolved for more than year until Texas Rangers — which recently received a grant for DNA testing — approached local authorities about analyzing genetic evidence from the crime scene.

DNA found on the victim was linked to Grafton and one of his co-workers told investigators he confessed to slaying.

Police said that a witness also was able to place Grafton at the hotel the night of the murder.

Authorities have not yet revealed a motive in the case and it’s unclear whether Grafton and Cheatham knew each other.

“We confirm that Spc. Corey L. Grafton is an active duty Soldier assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood,” Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam told CNN. He said military records listed Grafton’s first name as Corey, but police and jail records list it as Cory.

“The unit continues to cooperate with the Killeen Police Department and the Texas Rangers.”

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Fort Hood soldier facing murder charge in 2019 death of woman found at hotel

A Fort Hood soldier has been arrested in the death of a woman at a Texas hotel last year, authorities said Wednesday.

Cory Grafton, 20, an active-duty soldier assigned to the Texas base, was arrested Tuesday and is facing a murder charge in the death of Chelsea Lynell Cheatham, a 32-year-old who was found not breathing at a Days Inn in July 2019, officials said. Her death has later ruled a homicide.

A witness put Grafton at the scene, Killeen police said Wednesday.

The Texas Rangers, which received a grant for DNA testing last year, approached police with the possibility of using the testing in the year-old case, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

Police had also gotten a statement from one of Grafton’s co-workers who said he had confessed to the killing, the department of public safety said.

Grafton was being held in lieu of $1 million bail Wednesday night, according to online jail records. It was not clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

A motive was not disclosed in the police statements, and the relationship between Grafton and Cheatham was not clear.

A request for comment from a spokesperson for Killeen police was not immediately returned Wednesday night.

Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam, a spokesperson for the 1st Cavalry Division, confirmed that Grafton is a soldier assigned to the division at Fort Hood. The unit is cooperating with police and the Texas Rangers, Brautigam said.

Killeen is a city of around 151,000 next to Fort Hood, which is about 60 miles north of Austin.

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