A North Carolina man is wanted for the June 2015 shooting death of an Aston resident during an apparent robbery in Yeadon and now law enforcement officials, led by District Attorney Jack Whelan want the public’s help in finding Rodney Talbo Shelton, II, a 37 year-old, 6’0” light-skinned Black male, with freckles, brown-eyes, black hair and weighing approximately 205 pounds.
Joined by Yeadon Borough Police Chief Donald Molineux and Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and in conjunction with the Citizens Crime Commission, Whelan announced a warrant for Shelton’s arrest and the $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture provided by the commission.
Whelan said Shelton has been charged with the murder of Thomas Childs, 63, of Aston, during a robbery attempt outside Ridgway Industries, located in an industrial park in Yeadon.
“The loss of life will never be taken lightly by law enforcement,” Rabadi said. “Murderers who commit heinous acts of violence will be relentlessly pursued until they are in handcuffs and off of our streets…I hope this brings some solace to the Childs’ family during this difficult time and for the community to know that law enforcement will never allow murders to go unanswered. Rest assured, a loss of live will be answered with the loss of freedom for those responsible.”
Whelan commended all members of law enforcement for their efforts in identifying the suspect.
Nearly one year ago, at approximately 3:51 a.m., on June 9, Yeadon Borough police responded to a call at Ridgway Industries, 6250 Baltimore Ave., according to Whelan. Upon arriving, police discovered Childs, a delivery truck driver, dead, lying face-up, having succumbed to gunshot wounds to his body.
The victim’s pockets were turned inside out, indicative of being robbed.
“We learned that Mr. Childs had been robbed and he was killed, simply for his cell phone and a few dollars in cash,” Whelan said, to which Rabadi added was a “greedy act of violence.”
A witness at the scene discovered Child’s body after hearing a noise and seeing “an unknown light-skinned Black male” walking from the vicinity of the warehouse where Childs was found, according to a press release. The witness said, according to the release, he was also spotted by Shelton, who reached into his waistband area gesturing as if he had a weapon, and as both men crossed paths the suspect ran away.
Through “current technology”, according to Whelan, investigators located the victim’s stolen cell phone, traced it across the street to Fernwood Cemetery, and “loose cash” was also found. In addition to the victim’s phone emitting signals, the alleged murderer’s phone was also “pinging.” Childs’ stolen possessions were also found at the cemetery along with the murder weapon, a 9mm handgun, from atop a mausoleum, “hours later,” Whelan said.
Although there was an immediate breakthrough in finding the deadly weapon, investigators said the gun’s serial number had been “defaced,” according to Whelan, but through “ballistic technology” the serial number was “enhanced” and identified the owner, a woman, who resides in North Carolina. She later admitted she gave Shelton the gun and also served as his confidant when Shelton confessed to her about murdering Childs.
Whelan said the woman who provided the firearm may or may not face charges because that part of the case is out of his jurisdiction
Whelan described Shelton as a “distinguishable individual” due to tattoos on his arms and neck, as well as a noticeable spider-web tattoo spanning across the top of his head. The DA also described Shelton as “armed and dangerous” and having “two felony convictions out of North Carolina for breaking and entering and another for drug dealing and selling.”
Rabidi concluded with remarks directed to the fugitive: “Know this, we are coming for you, we will find you and you will be brought to face justice; it doesn’t matter where you are, there’s really no where you can hide and I strongly urge you to turn yourself in.”