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Convicted killer serving out life sentence confesses to unsolved murder after finding God in prison

November 15, 2022

 A press release from 7th Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza's Office, released October 24, 2022, states that convict, Michael S. Townson, 53, has been Indicted for first-degree murder in the killing of Linda Lois Little over three decades ago in Daytona Beach.

Townson, who is already serving a life sentence at the Charlotte Correctional Institution in Punta Gorda for bludgeoning Sherri Carman to death with a steel pipe in her home in 2007, reportedly confessed to the crime after "finding God" in prison.

An Orlando Sentinel article from 2007, details the murder of  29-year-old  mother of three, Sherri Carman, reporting that she was bludgeoned to death with a steel pipe used for chain-link fencing while sitting on the couch in her Titusville home on the 3300 block of Virginia Drive.

Michael Townson was a childhood friend of Carman, whom he had known for years. Townson and Carman's mothers even lived together in Orange County, California, and she had invited Townson to stay at the Titusville home she shared with her boyfriend and three children, when the killer brutally murdered her while they were conversing over lunch.

The fatal attack, which left the victim’s face completely unrecognizable, happened on January 17, 2007, and came after the woman made a comment that angered Townson and sent him into a violent frenzy. Townson refused to reveal what the comment was, but told police that Carman’s final words were: “I’m sorry.”

The victim was struck with the pipe at least twelve times.

Carman’s boyfriend was not home at the time of the murder and her children were at school.

After killing his childhood friend, Townson dragged the victim's body to the laundry room and concealed it under a pile of clothes. He then got into Carman's vehicle, driving to Orlando where he sold it for $50 which he then used to buy crack cocaine.

He was arrested on February 6, 2007, and charged with first-degree murder.

Townson had an extensive criminal history, including burglary and armed robbery, which landed him a twelve-year stint in prison.

He had been free for just four months at the time of the murder. Townson was unemployed at the time of the murder and Carman had invited him to stay with her and her family for a few days to spend time together.

43-year-old Linda Little was reported missing on October 14, 1991, after going missing three days earlier and has not been seen since.

She was last seen on October 11, 1991, riding her bicycle across the International Speedway Boulevard Bridge, not long after finishing a shift at Chart House restaurant on South Beach Street, Daytona Beach, where she worked as a waitress. Little finished her shift at around 1am and was seen at a bar called Matey's Brig a few hours later, and again at a convenience store later that morning in what would be the last sighting.

She was never seen again.

Little had only lived in Florida for two years before she was murdered and was originally from North Carolina.

Linda's family printed over three thousand flyers asking for information regarding her whereabouts and put up a billboard featuring the same flyer and the offer of a $5000 reward- but no one ever came forward with information. The pamphlets contained a description of the missing woman, including the clothing she was wearing when she was last seen alive:

Height: 5 feet 11 inches tall, weight: approximately 150 pounds,  hair: reddish brown.

Last seen wearing a white T-shirt and black leotard.

There was an anonymous call from an unidentified male in 1996, who claimed to have spotted the missing woman in North Carolina, however, nothing came of the tip and the caller was never identified.

With no leads pertaining to Linda’s whereabouts and police telling the family they did not believe there was any evidence of foul play, Linda’s loved ones even turned to psychics, to no avail.

Linda's personal life was complicated, she had been in a secret relationship with a married man whom she referred to as her boyfriend, and the pair were set to go on a trip together to celebrate one year of being in a relationship. The man cancelled in favour of going deep-sea fishing with a friend, but was never suspected in Linda Little's disappearance.

Linda left behind her adult son, Mike Parrish, who was twenty-five when she vanished without a trace.

There was never a suspect or person of interest in the case, and with nothing to go on, it inevitably went cold, and remained so for over thirty years.

Her body has never been found and her disappearance has remained a mystery for over three decades- until Michael Townson’s recent confessions, which he attributes to the new spiritual direction his life has taken.

Nothing was known of what happened to Little after she finished her shift on the day she vanished, but Townson filled in the gaps during an interview with Daytona Beach Police Detectives following his confession.

Townson explained that he and Linda Little met by chance in a Daytona Beach Hotel Bar where they had drinks. Somewhere during their encounter, Townson said he "snapped" and killed her. When asked about his motivation for killing a woman he had met by chance that night, he told officers that he hated women as his mother had failed to protect him from his sexually abusive father and grandfather throughout his childhood.

It is also reported that Townson told investigators where to find Little’s body, although they have yet to locate and recover the victim’s remains. 

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