Terry McDonald charged with murder of Mary Mount, State Attorney’s Office says

State Attorney Amira Fox and Sheriff Carmine Marceno stood together Monday to announce convicted felon Terry McDonald will face charges for the murder of Mary Mount in 2004, the State Attorney’s Office said in a press conference Monday afternoon.

Mary Mount was 28 years old when she went missing in Lee County back in 2004. Her case eventually became a murder investigation.

“I asked the newly formed attorney’s office cold case homicide division to bring resolution to Mary’s case,” Fox said. “The team has been working diligently with accumulated evidence and recently traveled to both Arizona and to Texas, where McDonald is incarcerated for another crime.” 

McDonald will be brought to Lee County to stand trial for Mary’s murder.

“I’m extremely proud of the long hours, hard hours put into this case by the cold case homicide division and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, best allowing us to charge McDonald with the murder of Mary,” Fox said. “This is a case that none of us have ever given up on.” 

Mary Mount graduated high school from Cypress Lake High School in 1993.

Mary’s father, Robert Knapp, and her brother, Steve Knapp, were at the conference. Both expressed their enormous thanks to investigators of the state attorney’s office and LCSO for their efforts to make an arrest in Mary’s case.

“We now know that justice is around the corner,” Robert said.  

Steve paid respects to their mother, Dottie Knapp,  who has since passed away amid the multi-decade investigation into Mary’s death.

“My family has kept faith that one day Mary would get justice, and today that day has come,” Steve said. “Sadly, for my mother, who is no longer with us, would have relished to get the truth. It’s been a very long chapter that is finally coming to an end.” 

Sheriff Marceno made it clear this case was important to the sheriff’s office and all investigation team members across agencies.

“Our efforts never stopped,” Marceno said. “The teamwork never stopped. And I can tell you this is a classic case of you can run and you can hide, but you are coming back to our county to face these charges.” 

Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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