A 75-year-old woman was found stabbed to death yesterday, allegedly by a former employee who broke into her Northwest Baltimore apartment Saturday afternoon to steal her purse, city police said.
The body of Jeanette Friedman was found by her son in the kitchen of her third-floor apartment in the 3500 block of Clarks Lane, in a complex inhabited mostly by elderly residents. Police said she had been stabbed several times.
Sgt. Steven A. Lehmann of the homicide unit said police had a 32-year-old Baltimore man in custody early today and were preparing to charge him with armed robbery and first-degree murder this morning.
Sergeant Lehmann said that as of midnight, police had not found the purse or the murder weapon. "We believe it's a robbery gone wrong," he said.
Police released little information about the slaying this morning. Sergeant Lehmann would not say when Mrs. Friedman employed the suspect, what he did for her or what led police to him. The sergeant did say that there was no sign of forced entry.
Several neighbors in the apartments, a few blocks from the Reisterstown Road Plaza shopping center, expressed concerns about security in the wake of the slaying.
"Everybody is up in arms," one woman said. "Everybody is scared. Everybody leaves their doors open all the time."
Neighbors said they had asked the owners earlier to install locks on the front doors of the building to prevent people from wandering freely throughout the complex.
Only one of the three buildings in the complex has a lock on the main entrance. "They said it was too expensive," said one man. "Maybe now they will listen."
The owners of the complex, who live in a duplex below the apartment where the stabbing occurred, refused to comment.