Husband and wife found dead son charged in case Burtonsville couple were both physicians

August 12, 1991|By Peter Hermann

A Montgomery County couple -- both doctors -- were found shot to death in their Burtonsville home yesterday, and county police have charged the man's son in the killings. The bodies of Norman N. K. Katz, 50, and his wife, Michelle R. Filling-Katz, 36, were found by relatives who drove to the home concerned about the couple.

Javant Naravan Katz, 20, was arrested shortly after the bodies were found when he drove his father's white BMW right into a crowd of onlookers, televisions cameras and police camped out at the couple's home.

Police had told neighbors earlier to watch for the car, which was missing from the home in the 3000 block of Brownstone Court. Police were notified when the car was sighted again near the house.

Javant Katz, who had been living with his mother in Baltimore, was Dr. Katz's son and Dr. Filling-Katz's stepson. He was charged with two counts of murder and was being held without bond.

Sgt. Harry Geehreng, a police spokesman, said the young man had told his mother Friday that he was going to live with his father. Sergeant Geehreng said the man frequently switched between the two homes.

But yesterday morning, Javant Katz called his mother and said he had changed his mind, Sergeant Geehreng said. When he did not return, the mother and her 17-year-old son, Sonny, drove to the Burtonsville home and found the bodies. Police say the killings took place Saturday.

Dr. Katz's body was found in the dining room. Police say he had been shot once in the head and twice in the chest. There were signs of a struggle. His wife's body was found in the kitchen, apparently killed while cooking. She was shot once in the head and once in the chest.

Sergeant Geehreng said both shootings were done with a small-caliber handgun, but last night police had not found the weapon. Police say they know of no motive.

Neighbors in the single-family homes off U.S. 29 said they did not know the couple well, since they had moved to the area two months ago. "They were both professionals, so they were not into the social butterfly kind of thing," said Phyllis Fleischman.

The father worked in private practice as a pediatric ophthalmologist. His wife worked in genetic research for the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, which is associated with the National Institutes of Health.

Her specialty was psychiatry and neurology.

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