Baltimore County police, continuing to search for clues and a suspect in the shooting deaths of an elderly couple at their isolated ranch home, last night found the couple's missing candy-apple red Camaro.
Police hope the car will provide clues in the slayings of John George Dietz Sr. and his wife, Lillian Ann, both 63. Police, who were called by a family friend, found their bodies about 1:45 a.m. yesterday. Each had been shot in the head and both were dressed in night clothes, police said.
"We'll process it through to see if it turns up anything," said E. Jay Miller, a county police spokesman, about the car. "We'll go over it and it could have prints, it might not. It could have a weapon in it and it might not."
"At least we found it," Miller said. "It's hard to say what it might mean."
The car, with Maryland handicapped license tag 087-33, was found about 10 p.m. near Dawman Court in the Chadwick Manor Townhouse Apartments in the Woodlawn area less than two miles from the murder scene in the 7700 block of Inwood Ave.
The car had been parked in the apartment complex between two and four days, police said.
Police also are searching the Dietz's red pickup truck, which was on their property, for possible clues.
Police found John Dietz on the floor and his wife on the bed. There were no signs of forced entry or ransacking of the home in a remote area near Patapsco State Park and Interstate 70 in the county, police said. No weapon has been recovered.
"They could have been dead since Wednesday night. That was the last time they were seen alive," Miller said of the couple who operated a horse farm on about 18 acres of land.
Neighbors said John Dietz inherited the land from his father years ago, and that he retired about five years ago from General Motors' automotive installation division.
"He's been there [on the farm] all his life," said one neighbor, who asked not to be identified.
Lillian Dietz was a housewife who was active in her church and loved gardening, according to neighbors.
Police are questioning relatives and neighbors. They believe the assailant or assailants knew the couple because of the lack of evidence of forced entry and the seclusion of the home.
The house, at the end of a narrow road about a quarter mile off Inwood Avenue, is hidden by woods and is about 200 yards from Patapsco Valley State Park.
A woman who lives in a house on the farm and cares for the horses went to the house about 10 p.m. Sunday. After becoming alarmed when the couple failed to answer her knock, she notified police.
Police and neighbors said the Dietz's son, John G. Jr. or "Wee John," and daughter, Cindy, who was recently married, had moved out of the house in the past 18 months. The daughter moved to New York, and the son lives near the farm, police said.
The younger Dietz was told to leave after several arguments with his father, police said.
"John, the father, was not the type to talk about his personal problems," said a friend, who asked not to be identified.
Eunice Kaiser, a life-long friend and neighbor, said the couple were nice, friendly people. "I just got back from Chicago and I was so amazed I cried," she said. "You don't like to come home to news like that. I can't get over it."
Neighbors said the Dietzes allowed boarders on their property.
"I kind of feel like it wasn't random violence. It was maybe somebody they knew," a neighbor and friend said. "There are a lot of boarders in there. You never know what could go on."