When 6-year-old Sarah told a neighbor Saturday evening that her mommy "went away for the weekend," Jody Lynn Rosenborough already may have been dead for almost 24 hours, her body locked in the bedroom of her Glen Burnie home, police believe.
County police found the body of Jody Lynn Rosenborough, 35, yesterday morning in the home she shared with her three small children and common-law husband, Gary Stephens. Police were questioning Stephens last night in connection with the slaying.
Neighbors in the 1000 block of Fairway Avenue said the window shades were down and the doors locked all weekend.
"Any other time, there were kids in and out of the house," said a neighbor who lived across the cul-de-sac from the house shared by Rosenborough and Stephens, 41.
Police sources say they suspect Rosenborough could have been killed as early as Friday. Stephens, who had been the subject of a daylong manhunt, turned himself in to state police in Glen Burnie late yesterday afternoon.
The neighbor also said she last saw Jody Rosenborough at about 6 p.m. Friday.
At about 7:10 a.m. yesterday, aman who identified himself as Rosenborough's husband called 911 and requested an ambulance. He told the dispatcher his wife was not feeling well and had chest pains, county police spokesman Officer V. Richard Molloy said.
Shortly after the call was made, but before policearrived, a family member showed up at the house to take Sarah to school, Molloy said. The child told the relative her mother was in the bedroom.
The relative, whom police did not identify, found Rosenborough's body. Paramedics arrived as she was rushing the children out of the house.
They found Rosenborough lying face up, fully dressed,on the bed in the couple's bedroom. She had been stabbed in the stomach, he said, and bruises on her face showed she had been beaten.
Molloy said Stephens and the couple's gray, 1983 4-door Oldsmobile were gone. The police radio broadcast descriptions of Stephens and his car yesterday afternoon. Citing evidence of marital problems, police initially speculated Stephens may have driven to some secluded spot and killed himself.
Rosenborough's death shocked residents of the neighborhood behind Harundale Mall. Until yesterday, they noted, the biggest event in the community of modest one-story homes was a fire 15years ago.
Neighbors described Gary Stephens as a "great" man who"loved his wife." They said he was often seen outside playing with his children and working in the yard.