New London

Police ID Woman Killed in New London Home; Navy Sailor Husband Charged With Murder

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Police have released the name of the 23-year-old woman who was found dead in her New London home after it was set on fire Wednesday night and identified her as Shelby Dodson.

Dodson's husband, George Dodson, a 23-year-old Navy sailor, has been charged with murder after Shelby Dodson was found dead and the couple's 13-month-old son was found injured at a fire scene.

George Dodson told police he was jealous and killed his wife with a hammer, then set the house on fire, according to court documents.

The 911 call reporting the fire at the family's Sherman Street home came in around 10:32 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

Firefighters found Shelby Dodson with life-threatening injuries and removed her from the home. She was later pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The baby boy was rescued from a crib in a second-floor bedroom, police said. He was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, then moved to Yale New Haven Hospital for observation. Police said his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. As of Friday, the child is in stable condition, police said.

When fire responders went to the home Wednesday night, George Dodson was found in the backyard with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

He told officers he killed his wife with a hammer and then set the house on fire, according to court documents, and said he was jealous.

"We opened up our relationship and she found another man she loved more and I could not stand the thought of it, so I killed her," Dodson told police, according to court documents.

Dodson was charged with murder, criminal attempt at murder, criminal attempt at arson murder, first-degree arson, risk of injury to a minor, tampering with evidence, cruelty to animals, and reckless endangerment.

He was held on $3 million bond and appeared in court Thursday.

Dodson has been a member of the U.S. Navy for five years, according to Navy spokesperson Lt. Seth Koenig. He has been based in Connecticut for about three years, Lt. Koenig said.

Dodson is a second-class petty officer and works as an electronics technician for nuclear, according to Lt. Koenig. His status in the military has not yet changed, but it is too early to determine what the next steps are for the Navy, he said.

Naval criminal investigators are working with New London police on the case.

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