Reidland man charged with murdering his wife of 36 years


Reporter: Mychaela Bruner
Photographer: Justin Jones

REIDLAND, Ky—Exactly one week after a woman was found dead in a house fire, McCracken County Sheriff's Department made an arrest.  The suspect is her husband of 36 years.

Investigators charged Keith Griffith with the murder of Julie Griffith Friday night.   .

Griffith was also charged with arson, tampering with physical evidence, and two counts of cruelty to animals.  Neighbors say they are in shock a murder could happen in the small community of Reidland.

Bill Bartleman and his family lived on Tudor Boulevard for 12 years.  He said the unknown is what scares him.

"Just to think that someone like that or to anybody a murder is really bad, but it was upsetting and nerving for awhile, but to know somebody would want to take their life," said Bartleman.

His neighbor, Keith Griffith, arrested and charged for the murder of his wife of 36 years. 

After the arrest, McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden said a week of hard work paid off.

"I want to stress how confident we are in our findings and how confident we are in this arrest," said Hayden.

For Bartleman, it is still an uneasy feeling knowing his neighbor, Julie, was murdered.

"You go by and know it was a crime scene, it was just an eerie feeling," said Bartleman.

Bartleman said for now his lights will stay on at night.

"We're a good neighborhood, a lot of good people live here. we will all stay together and work together and watch out for one another like we always have," said Bartleman.

A community that is now drawn together after tragedy strikes fear.

Hayden also said more than a thousand man hours have gone into this case and the investigation is on-going. The McCracken County Coroner Dan Sims said while the initial autopsy showed foul play he is not releasing the official cause of death at this time.

There will be a preliminary hearing within ten days for Keith Griffith.