Police arrest suspect in Tempe woman's murder

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Michael Lee Franklin Jr. By Jennifer Thomas Michael Lee Franklin Jr. By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. – Tempe police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of a 64-year-old woman found dead in her home last week.

Michael Lee Franklin Jr., 33, was booked into Tempe City Jail and is facing charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and first-degree burglary.

Franklin is accused of killing his neighbor, Bonnie Raudman. She  was found dead in her home near Baseline Road and 48th Street by a family friend on Friday. Raudman’s husband was in the hospital and became concerned when she did not show up for a visit.

Police said she was stabbed to death.

Raudman's Hyundai Elantra and several other items were taken from the home during the incident. Detectives recovered the car approximately one mile away from Raudman’s home. They also located two stolen replica pistols and display plaques in a Dumpster close to her home.

Tempe police Sgt. Steve Carbajal said Franklin's fingerprints were found on the recovered property. Detectives served a search warrant on his home Wednesday and took him into custody without incident.

During a post-arrest interview, Franklin admitted to being in Raudman’s home, taking her to an ATM to withdraw money and removing property from the home but denied hurting Raudman while he was in the home, according to Carbajal.