County homicide detectives were searching for a man seen driving a car matching the description of one owned by a 56-year-old Arnold woman who was slain last month.
Investigators said a witness reported seeing the man talking on a pay phone outside the Safeway store at Ritchie Highway and Arnold Road between 7 and 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 2.
The unidentified man, being sought by police for questioning, wasdriving a car matching the description of one owned by Marlene "Pat"Kilpatrick, who detectives think was killed between 11 p.m. Jan. 1 and 7 a.m. Jan. 2.
Her daughter, Lisa O'Connell of Pasadena, found her mother stabbed and beaten to death in the home in the 100 block of Church Road shortly after noon on Jan. 3.
O'Connell had gone to check on her mother after getting no answer on the telephone for several hours.
The witness, who used the pay phone next to the one theunidentified man used, said the man acted strangely and covered the receiver as he talked, said Detective Dirk Rinehart.
Kilpatrick's killer took her car, a Burgundy 1983 Mercury Cougar, and drove it to Clement's Hardware Store on Ritchie Highway in Severna Park, several miles from her home, police said.
He left the car there, and police found it the evening of Jan. 3, police said.
Rinehart described the man as white, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a thin build.
He has light-brown hair, blue eyes and was in his mid-30s. He wore a brown or tan waist-length jacket with a fuzzy white collar.
There were no signs of forced entry into Kilpatrick's home, and the phone lines outside the home had been cut.
Anyone with any information about the killing should call Rinehart or Detective Dave Harp at 222-3458.