El Dorado police are still investigating a homicide in which a Louisiana man was arrested for allegedly killing his girlfriend after the woman’s body was discovered inside a car last week on the west side of town.
Jeffery J. Burton, 43, of Cullen, Louisiana, is awaiting extradition from Houston on charges of first-degree murder, arson and an enhanced penalty for felony with a firearm.
Burton was identified as a suspect in the slaying of Gemina Stromile, 41, of Plain Dealing, Louisiana. Stromile was found dead inside a red, four-door Pontiac car in the area of West Main and Oak Valley on Feb. 10.
The car was parked near a wooded area just north of Stars Cinema.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., police responded to a call about a welfare concern in the area and found Stromile unresponsive inside the car.
Emergency medical technicians with the El Dorado Fire Department were summoned to the scene. Stromile was pronounced dead a short time later.
Police said the interior of the car had been damaged by fire. Investigators with the EPD and EFD determined that the fire had been intentionally set.
Capt. Kevin Holt, public information officer for the EPD, declined to release details about Stromile’s injuries, saying that police are awaiting a preliminary report from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock, where the body was sent for autopsy.
Burton, who was believed to be Stromile’s boyfriend, was identified as a suspect through the EPD investigation and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
EPD also issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) alert for Burton after learning that he has ties in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and California.
The police probe yielded information indicating that Burton was heading to Los Angeles with stop planned at a bus station in Houston.
Authorities in Houston took Burton into custody at the bus station at approximately 1 p.m. on Feb. 12.
He is scheduled for an extradition hearing to determine if he will be brought back to El Dorado for a first appearance hearing in 35th Judicial District Court.
Police Chief Billy White said investigators are still working to establish a motive for the killing and developing a timeline of how the couple came to El Dorado and when the murder occurred.
“We don’t have a clue why they were here, and how they ended up in that spot. We don’t have a clear-cut motive. We can speculate, but we don’t have that yet,” White said.
It was the first homicide to occur in El Dorado in 2018.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.