A 29-year-old parolee was charged today with the first-degree murder of a Crofton woman whose body was found yesterday at the bottom of a ravine near the Crofton Library, Anne Arundel County police said.
Steven Gregory Anderson, of no fixed address, was charged with the murder of Gwyn Dixon Criswell, 42, police said. He had already been charged Sunday with a purse-snatching and was being held without bail.
Anderson had been arrested about 9:30 p.m. Sunday after police spotted him near the victim's 1988 Plymouth Sundance parked in front of a liquor store on West Street in Annapolis, police spokesman Richard V. Molloy said.
He said Anderson is on supervised probation until next year after reportedly serving five years of a seven-year prison sentence for breaking and entering.
Criswell was a civilian employee of the Department of Defense and was reported missing by her husband when she failed to return home from a shopping trip Sunday, police said. She lived with her husband and teen-age son in the 1500 block of Eversham Place.
Police declined to say if the victim had been shot, stabbed or beaten to death, or if there were any signs of sexual molestation.
The victim's car was believed to have been used in the purse-snatching about 8 p.m. Sunday in front of the Thrift Inn on Riva Road, police said.
While in custody in the alleged purse-snatching, Anderson gave statements that led police to begin preparing murder and car-theft charges against him, Molloy said.
It is believed that Anderson also told police where Criswell's body could be found.
"Anderson gave us more than a dozen statements and stories," Molloy said.
Criswell's body was found about 5:30 p.m. yesterday in a ravine behind the Crofton Library on Md. 424 and Md. 3, a quarter-mile from Crofton Park, where police focused much of their search Sunday and early yesterday.
Police said Criswell had left her home between 10 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday to go to an automatic teller machine to get money to shop at a supermarket near Crofton.
"We know she used the automatic teller machine because we have her on videotape standing alone at the machine and taking out money," Molloy said.
Her husband reported her missing at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, police said.