BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 9 (AP) — A “good, strong case” has been built up against a 39-year-old blonde charged with murdering an elderly missionary, an officer reported today.

Detective R. A. McMurdo made the statement after two days of questioning Mrs. Cathrin Bystrom, former Fairbanks, Alaska, a company and sightseeing tour operator.

Mrs. Bystrom and James Lee McGraw, 29, who drove for her in Alaska, are accused of shooting to death Miss Lillian Euphemia Schliefer. Both deny any connection with the slaying.

The 70-year-old church worker’s nearly nude body was found floating in a shallow lake at Alexander City, Ala., Feb. 25.

Mrs. Bystrom admitted to police that she drove Miss Schliefer from Waco to Birmingham. She asserted, however, that the missionary left her here Feb. 22 when her car developed motor trouble.

State toxicologists at Auburn, Ala., are making microscopic examination of evidence taken from Mrs. Bystrom’s automobile in an effort to produce clues to Miss Schliefer’s savage killing.

Her body was bound hand and foot when located. She had been shot to death while eating, an autopsy showed.

Miss Schliefer was a missionary for the Davidian Branch of the Seventh-Day Adventists church. She had been visiting at a religious community near Waco for several months when she engaged a ride with Mrs. Bystrom to Miami, police said.

Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.