NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — New London Police identified the woman killed by her husband on Wednesday night.

The woman was identified as 23-year-old Shelby Dodson of New London.

Shelby Dodson’s husband, 23-year-old Navy sailor George Dodson of New London, faces murder and arson charges after Shelby was found dead and an infant was injured in a house fire on Wednesday.

George Dodson is charged with murder, first-degree arson, criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal attempt to commit arson, tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment, and cruelty to animals. 

Firefighters responded to the single-family home at 50 Sherman St. around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and found heavy smoke and flames inside.

While searching the house, firefighters discovered Shelby Dodson’s body on the first floor. Medical personnel pronounced her dead at the scene.

Firefighters also found a one-year-old child on the second floor of the house. The infant was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and is currently in stable condition.

George Dodson allegedly intentionally set the fire in what police called a domestic violence incident. Court documents show that George Dodson told police the victims were his wife and child.

“One life lost is one too many and this is a tragic event within the New London community,” New London police Capt. Matthew Galante said. “The only thing I can say to the public at this point is this does not appear to be a random act, and it appears to be an isolated incident, domestic related.”

Police said George Dodson was found in the house’s backyard with non-life threatening injuries to his neck area, which were self-inflicted. He was also taken to the hospital for treatment.

George Dodson
George Dodson. Photo: New London Police Department

According to court documents obtained by News 8, George Dodson told a paramedic, “I did this, I killed her.”

When officers asked George Dodson why he killed his wife, he responded, “Jealousy. 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.”

George Dodson told police he killed his wife with a hammer.

When asked if George Dodson hurt the child he stated, “I started the fire, so yes. I didn’t harm him directly, but.”

Court documents show that George Dodson told police he started the fire in an attempt to kill his wife rather than having to use a hammer or knife.

George Dodson joined the U.S. Navy in 2017, according to Navy spokesperson Lt. Seth Koenig. He has been assigned to the USS Newport News (SSN 750), which is homeported at Naval Submarine Base New London, since 2019. As an active duty service member, George Dodson is a second-class petty officer and works as an electronics technician for nuclear, Koenig said.

George Dodson appeared in court Thursday afternoon and is being held on a $3 million cash surety bond.

News 8 will update this story as more information becomes available.