Baltimore County police today were investigating similarities between last night's fatal shooting of a woman at a motel in Westview and the shooting and robbery Sept. 8 of a city kindergarten teacher across the street from the motel.
A security guard at the Quality Inn Motel in the 5800 block of Baltimore National Pike was making his rounds about 11:30 o'clock last night when he found the body of Valerie Esther Brown, 30, of Philadelphia, lying outside her room, police said.
Police said Brown, a sales representative for Holt, Rinehart and Winston Publishing Co., was in the area on business. She had checked into the motel alone earlier in the day and had met with a supervisor in Catonsville. She had returned to the motel but had failed to call the supervisor as planned, and police were notified.
Brown's car was found on the motel parking lot.
Sgt. Stephen Doarnberger, a police spokesman, said today it appeared the woman, whose purse was missing, had been about to enter her room when someone shot her in the chest during a robbery.
Police said no one in the building heard the gunshot, but police interviewed guests in rooms adjacent to the victim's room to find out if they had heard anything unusual.
Police said they have detected some similarities between last night's killing and the shooting and robbery Sept. 8 at Westview Mall -- across Baltimore National Pike from the Quality Inn -- of Katherine Dwyer, a 43-year-old teacher.
E. Jay Miller, another police spokesman, said Dwyer was robbed of her purse while loading packages into her Toyota truck. When she resisted the thief, he shot her in the left arm and her upper body. The bullet did not hit any vital organs and Dwyer is recovering from the wound, police said.
Miller said police are looking at the proximity of the two assaults, plus the fact that both victims were shot and purses were involved in both cases.
Police report no suspects in either case.
In another county shooting, detectives were seeking clues in the critical wounding early today of an Essex man who was gunned down outside an automatic teller machine in Rosedale.
Jerry Lee Mathis, 43, of the first block of Pinyon Court in Essex, was walking toward a 24-hour bank teller machine at the Maryland National Bank in the 7900 block of Pulaski Highway at about 2 a.m. when a gunman accosted him and shot him in the head, chest and abdomen before fleeing.
Police said Mathis managed to get into his car and drive about a quarter mile along Pulaski Highway before his car crashed into a concrete median strip. He was flown to the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore by a State Police Med-Evac helicopter. He was listed in critical and unstable condition.
Police said they had not determined if the gunman robbed Mathis.
Mathis worked as a cleanup man at the Halfway House, a tavern in the 3800 block of North Point Blvd. A woman employee at the bar said Mathis did not make deposits for the establishment after hours.