February 16, 2012
LIMA The man police officials said strangled his girlfriend last month has been indicted by a grand jury.Raymond Collins, 51, of 1119 E. Holmes Ave., was charged with murder. He is scheduled to appear at an arraignment Feb. 24 in Allen County Common Pleas Court. The hearing will be his first chance to enter a plea in the case.Collins was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.Collins is charged in the slaying of 43-year-old Teresa Burge. Police found her dead in a home at 1119 E. Holmes Ave. on Jan. 27. Investigators said they believe she had been dead a couple of days. Police officials became aware of Burge's death after an employee of St. Rita's Medical Center called to say a man at the hospital said he strangled his girlfriend, a detective said.St. Rita's informed us the defendant was at the hospital and told the security people or treatment people that he had just choked or strangled his girlfriend, Lima Police Detective Scott Leland said.After the call, officers visited the East Holmes Avenue home to check on Burge's well-being. No one answered the door so officers forced their way inside and found her dead inside a bedroom, Leland said. Leland also said officers interviewed Collins and he confessed, which was captured on a video recording.He did admit that he hurt his girlfriend, Leland said. An autopsy showed Burge died of strangulation. Investigators said they believe she died two days earlier on Jan. 27.Collins' attorney, Jerry Pitts, asked Leland at an earlier hearing whether Collins had any health problems.Leland said emergency room staff at the hospital told him Collins may have some history of schizophrenia.