Autopsy due in suspicious death

January 21, 1991

An autopsy was to be performed today to determine the cause of death of a 28-year-old Middle River woman whose body was found Saturday night in her burning apartment, Baltimore County police said.

Pending the autopsy results, police have ruled the death suspicious.

Police said the body of Lolita Dawn Strawder, of the 1600 block of Gail Road in the Mars Estates section of Middle River, was found on the floor of her bedroom by firefighters who responded to a two-alarm blaze there at 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

Strawder was pronounced dead at the scene by an ambulance crew, police said.

Police at the Essex District said the position of the victim's body and "other evidence found in the apartment" required the attention of the homicide squad, which ordered the body removed to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

County officials said the fire caused extensive damage to the upper floor of Strawder's apartment. The fire was declared under control at 10:38 p.m.

Fire officials said the origin of the fire and its cause also are under investigation.

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