PATAPSCO — Howard County Police are attempting to determine the cause of death of a 54-year-old homeless man whose body was found Sunday on the shore of the Patapsco River near West Friendship Road.
The body of Hugh William Price, whom police describe as a drifter whose last known residence was Carroll, was found at 5:45 p.m. near the county line.
Police said an autopsy conducted Monday could not confirm a causeof death.
Police say Sykesville residents told them they last sawPrice Sunday afternoon.
The body was found by two Sykesville residents who were walking along the shore of the river, police said. Price was fully clothed and many of his belongings, including less than $20 in cash, were found nearby, police said.
"There were no signs of foul play at the scene," said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner, a police spokesman. "However, we have no indication as to what the cause of death was and we are still investigating."
Price had been living at a small shed near the riverbank and had also been sleeping under a nearby bridge, Gardner said. His most recent address was in the 6600 block of Church Street in Sykesville, police said.
The autopsy Monday at the state medical examiner's office did not show any signs of trauma,nor did it reveal that Price may have drowned, police said.
A toxicology test on Price's blood is being conducted by medical examinersin an attempt to determine whether he had been drinking alcohol prior to his death, Gardner said. The test takes several weeks to complete, Gardner said.
TEENS FACE CHARGES
State police have charged two juveniles with 41 counts of destruction of property in connection with a spree that left mailboxes along Baptist Road damaged.
Last Thursday, Carroll Sheriff's Deputy Neil Weutrich responded to a call that a car was driving on Baptist Road destroying mailboxes.
Weutrich saw a 1985 Chevrolet truck driving in the area. After observing the truck for several minutes, he pulled the truck over.
Weutrich said he found three baseball bats in the truck.
A joint investigation by Weutrich and state police Tfc. Edward Buell revealed that 41 mailboxes in the area had been damaged.
State police said they expect to add more mailboxes to the list as damage reports come in.
LEARN TO STOP CRIME
North Carrollresidents who want to learn to better protect their homes from crime are asked to attend a Regional Neighborhood Watch meeting tonight at 6 at North Carroll High School.
The meeting is open to members of existing Neighborhood Watch programs and anyone who wants to learn about crime prevention, said Tfc. James Emerick, crime prevention coordinator at the Westminster state police barracks.
"Anyone thinking about how to secure their home can come and see the displays and ask questions," said Emerick.
The meeting -- which is free -- will feature displays on using the Crime Solvers hot line to give anonymoustips in criminal cases, advice on engraving belongings and instruction on the best kinds of locks to buy.
A guest speaker from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. will talk about home security lights. He willbe giving away door prizes of electric light timers and energy-efficient light bulbs, Emerick said.
Area businesses will be on hand toshow the kinds of security equipment that are available in Carroll County.
"You can't have Fort Knox in your home, but you can make ittough for someone who is trying to break in," said Emerick. "They don't want to have to work too hard to get into your home."
Registration for the meeting begins at 6 p.m. Additional crime prevention seminars will be conducted at Francis Scott Key High School April 16 andat Westminster High School April 17.
WOMAN DISPUTES REPORT
A Thomas Lane resident who survived an accident that killed her boyfriend over the weekend said the police account of the crash is wrong.
Baltimore County police reported that George Redifer Jr., 34, and his Westminster girlfriend, Julie Putnam, were fighting when Redifer pulled his car over to the side of the road on Hanover Pike in Baltimore County early Saturday morning.
Police said Redifer was pulling Putnam out of the car by her head when a car came byand sideswiped the Redifer car, shearing off the door and killing Redifer.
The car fled the scene.
On Sunday, a woman identifying herself as Putnam called the Associated Press to say the couple was not fighting, and that they had pulled over to change drivers.
She said both were standing outside the car when it was hit.
Baltimore County police said they are sticking by the original report.
CRIME SOLVERS NEED HELP
Carroll County Crime Solvers, a volunteer group that assists area police, is asking residents to help pitch in so it can stay in business.
Tfc. James Emerick, crime prevention coordinator at the Westminster barracks, said this week that Crime Solvers has not received the financial backing it needs and is in danger of going out of business.