A Northeast Baltimore woman and her 2-year-old son were found shot to death yesterday afternoon in their apartment in a quiet neighborhood off Northern Parkway. The bodies were discovered by the woman's 12-year-old daughter when she returned home from school.
Maria Bryant, 29, was found in the living room of the second-floor apartment at the Wellington Gates complex in the 2400 block of Gainsborough Court. Her son, Tavone Thompson, was found in the bedroom.
The police said that the apartment had not been ransacked and that there was no sign of forced entry. Homicide detectives said they do not know of a motive and they have no suspects.
Homicide detectives would say little else about the murders, the 11th and 12th in Baltimore so far this year. As darkness fell, the silhouettes of investigators could be seen through drawn shades working at the crime scene.
Both bodies were discovered by Ms. Bryant's daughter, Nakia Williams, who got home from school about 3 p.m., Agent Arlene K. Jenkins, a police spokeswoman, said. Police said Nakia became hysterical and was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital and given a sedative.
Another of Ms. Bryant's daughters, 13-year-old Lakesha Williams, had apparently gone to visit friends after school and did not come home until about 6 p.m. The youngster was met by a relative as she came up the walk to her home and could be seen sobbing and struggling to get back to the apartment -- calling for her mother and brother -- after she was told the news.
Police believe the shootings probably took place shortly after 9 a.m., after Nakia and Lakesha had left for school.
But the police were unable to immediately find anyone in the apartment complex who had heard or seen anything that could have been connected with the murder, Agent Jenkins said.
In addition to her son and daughters, Ms. Bryant's brother, Alvis Bryant, 16, also lived in the apartment. The family had lived in the apartment since August, police said.
Last night, neighbors in the small court of apartments were shaken and afraid.
"This used to be the best neighborhood in the country," said Benjamin H. Kennon, who has lived in the apartment complex for 16 years.
"It's quiet compared to some areas, but it's getting worse and worse every year."