Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Suspected Serial Killer Was Convicted of Previous Murder, Released

Tamara Ann Liner and Jana Michelle Morton

Tamara Ann Liner (left) and Jana Michelle Morton (right)

The Alamance, N.C., Sherriff confirmed Tuesday that Robert Mitchell Foust, 52, is a person of interest in two unsolved missing-person cases. Foust is currently incarcerated on a rape charge and is serving a 40-year sentence. Jana Michelle Morton 39, of Snow Camp, went missing on February 13, 2009, her body was found on May 25, 2012, in a wrapped in a blanket in a grave in a Burlington, N.C., wooded area. Sherriff Terry Johnson said the death was connected to the case of Tamara Ann Liner, 49, of Burlington, last seen on July 23, 2008, and found by hunters in a wooded area near Pleasant Grove. There was little forensic evidence to prove cause of death, but the circumstances of the women’s disappearances led investigators to rule their deaths homicides.

Foust’s criminal record includes second-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, assault on a female and false imprisonment, larceny, shoplifting, motor vehicle break-ins and drug offenses. In fact he was caught shoplifting, when police searched him and found a receipt to the McDonald’s where Liner was last seen, and the key to Morton’s car, as well as some cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Foust was convicted of murder in 1987, and sentenced to 40 years, but only served 13 before being released.

Johnson added that Foust may be responsible for as many as 4 other murders. Prosecutors are now seeking an indictment against Foust in the murders of Liner and Morton.

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