Cleaning service employee charged in Towson slaying

June 05, 1991|By S. M. Khalid

A cleaning service worker was charged yesterday in the stabbing death of a 22-year-old clerk last weekend at the Towson Market Place store where she worked.

Robert Patrick Lipinski, 27, of Oakwood Road in Dundalk, was arrested at 3:30 p.m. and charged with first-degree murder, according to Baltimore County police.

Police spokesman E. Jay Miller said the suspect had been employed the past six months by Genie Cleaners of Timonium, which held the contract to clean the Nutri-Systems diet store where the victim, Gina Courtalis of Perry Hall, worked.

Police allege that Mr. Lipinski quarreled Saturday evening with Ms. Courtalis, whom he did not know, lost his temper and stabbed her to death. The victim was not sexually assaulted, police said.

Ms. Courtalis, a graduate of Perry Hall High School who had worked at the store for about 18 months, was to close up between 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Family members called police after becoming concerned about the woman's safety when she did not return home Saturday. Relatives and police officers went to the parking lot near the store early Sunday and found her car, then entered the store where they found her body at 5:30 a.m.

The victim's body had multiple stab wounds in the upper back, according to police.

Investigators said they have recovered physical evidence in the case, including a knife.

Mr. Lipinski is married and the father of three children. His family reportedly was in the process of being evicted from their Dundalk apartment. He was being held last night without bail pending a bail review hearing this morning.

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