The suspect wanted in the beating and kidnapping of a 65-year-old woman from a downtown Bel Air parking lot last Thursday had been released from the county detention center just hours before the attack, county court records show.
Bel Air police investigators say the man wanted in the attack is Allen D. Morehouse, 20, of St. Petersburg, Fla.
They have filed charges that he abducted the woman at 7 p.m. Thursday as she was getting into her car in a public parking lot along Burns Alley.
"She was a random victim," said John W. Harkins, spokesman for the Bel Air Police Department.
Harford District Court records show that Judge Lawrence S. Lanahan ordered Morehouse to be released from the detention center on Jan. 17. He had been held since Dec.23 on charges of theft and for making false statements to police, records show.
Morehouse was released following a district court trial on Jan. 17. The county State's Attorney's Office dropped charges due to a lack of evidence, court records state.
The woman was found by police the next day locked in the trunk of her car at a landfill near Wilmington, Del., Harkins said.
Investigators say they believeMorehouse may have fled to New England, where he lived at one time.
The victim identified Morehouse as the assailant from a group of police photographs, Harkins said.
Morehouse was arrested by the Harford Sheriff's Department on Dec. 23 on charges he stole gasoline from a gas station, court records show.
Police later learned that thecar Morehouse was driving, a blue 1977 Chevrolet Camaro, was reported stolen by a Florida man, records say. Morehouse told police that the car was owned by his brother.
Harkins gave the following report on the attack:
The woman was getting into her car, a 1987 Oldsmobile, when Morehouse approached her. Harkins said the man punched her several times and pushed her into the car.
The suspect then drove her car to Delaware, Harkins said.
The Wilmington Police Departmentnotified Bel Air investigators that the woman had been found in the trunk of her car at the landfill, Harkins said. The suspect, however,was not at the scene.
The woman was treated at a Delaware hospital for a broken arm, cuts and bruises, Harkins said.
Bel Air investigators have filed charges of interstate kidnapping, robbery, batteryand theft against Morehouse, Harkins said.