Man wanted for Tennessee murder arrested in New Jersey

Flowers on the fence serve as a memorial at the home where Johnny Arwood lived. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

Flowers on the fence serve as a memorial at the home where Johnny Arwood lived. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

WHITE PINE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Police in New Jersey say they have arrested a man wanted in Jefferson County for murder after stopping a truck driver.

Officers stopped Manuel Velasco's truck at the George Washington Bridge toll yesterday. Officers say he was trying to evade paying a toll, and had unknowingly picked up the person of interest. Officers discovered his passenger, 52-year-old Charles Kelly, was wanted on forgery and theft charges and is a person of interest in the May murder of man in White Pine, Tenn.

The body of Johnny Arwood was found in May at his home on Beth Carr Road in White Pine. Deputies have looked for Kelly ever since.

"We had flyers out, we had been following up on leads checking family members, our detectives have worked around the clock for several days and continued to work to try to locate this gentleman," said Jefferson County Sheriff G.W. Bud McCoig. "At the last grand jury, we indicted him for the murder of Johnny Arwood. and he was wanted for the murder so the port authorities notified us they had him in custody at that time."

McCoig says investigators and TBI agents are on their way to interview Kelly and if he waives extradition he will be brought back to Tennessee on Saturday or Monday.

Kelly lived with Arwood according to neighbors. Kelly was last seen leaving the home in Arwood's brown truck, which has never been found.

Regina Arwood, sister of Johnny, says she has spent all summer dealing with his loss. She says it is a relief to have some closure in the case.

"Very happy that it's going to be somewhat resolved. and I'm terribly saddened about the death of Johnny he was my only sibling," said Arwood. "Just glad to see that it's coming to an end, that our family can just go on and put it to rest. We've been so concerned about it."


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