Accused murderer Eric Goodner smiled as he was lead by a U.S. Marshal into the Metro Nashville Juvenile Detention Facility Wednesday evening.
The 17-year-old was taken into custody at Village Place Apartments after being on the run for nearly three weeks.
“You know, the arrest starts the process, and now we’re going to be backtracking from this point and see how this 17-year-old was able to stay on the run for so long,” North Precinct Commander Terrence Graves said in a news briefing shortly after Goodner’s arrest.
Metro police believe Goodner had help eluding officers.
Village Place Apartment residents, like Teresa Stewart, believe Goodner may have helped himself by creating a disguise.
When asked when she noticed Goodner, Stewart answered, “When he was dressed like a female last night. He was twisting and [expletive].”
Stewart and her neighbors only recently noticed Goodner in the area, but had no idea he was wanted.
“That’s really scary because it’s a lot of babies around here,” Stewart said.
Police believe Goodner shot and killed 17-year-old Johnathan Johnson, a Pearl Cohn High School student, while Johnson was on his way to a bus stop on the morning of April 11.
Goodner was the primary suspect. His rumored cross-dressing in the weeks that followed may have been the result of pressure from police.
“Everyone in this precinct knew who he was and would recognize him if they saw him,” said Commander Graves. “Of course, it was rumored that he was changing his appearance and all that.”
Since Goodner was taken into custody, he has refused to answer questions.
Investigators continue to work on the case. Additional charges and arrests are possible.
“Like we said earlier, no 17-year-old is going to be on the run all this time without help,” Commander Graves said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Metro police at 615-862-8600.