Woman found dead in Oklahoma City; man who fell out of garage ceiling arrested

A woman was found dead inside an Oklahoma City house. A man hiding in the attic over the garage fell through the ceiling and was arrested.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Modified: September 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm •  Published: September 7, 2011

An Oklahoma City woman was found dead in her house on Tuesday after neighbors called police to report a man backing the victim's car out of her driveway.

A man who had been in trouble with the law since he was accused of burglarizing a school at age 9 was arrested in the death of Paula Martin, 56.

Dartangan Cotton, 20, was arrested after he fell through the attic of Martin's garage at 524 SW 48, where he had been hiding, Oklahoma City police Capt. Dee Patty said.

William Martin, 66, of Oklahoma City, said his sister's death was a shock.

“She was a loving daughter and sister,” he said. “We're going to miss her.”

Police said there was no apparent trauma to the victim's body. The state medical examiner has not determined cause of death.

Neighbors saw a man backing Martin's car out of her driveway about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Patty said.

The man got out of the car and went back into the house. A police tactical team arrived and surrounded it, said Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow at a news briefing.

After officers went into the garage, Cotton crashed through the ceiling.

Man lived nearby

Cotton was arrested on a murder complaint and taken to the Oklahoma County jail. Police said he lived two houses down from Paula Martin. They don't think they knew each other.

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