Abduction victim's car is found Clues elude police in abduction, stabbing of governor's friend.

February 28, 1992|By Bruce Reid and Michael James | Bruce Reid and Michael James,Staff Writers Richard Irwin, Frank D. Roylance and Roger Twigg contributed to this story.

State Police today found the car owned by Frank Allan Storch, a Baltimore businessman who told police that two abductors repeatedly stabbed him and tried to drown him in a Sykesville creek.

Chuck Jackson, a State Police spokesman, said a Howard County police officer spotted Mr. Storch's 1989 Lincoln Continental shortly before 2:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on U.S. 1 south of Md. 175 in Jessup. Investigators were searching the car for evidence at the State Police crime lab in Pikesville, he said.

Investigators still are trying to sort out "a puzzle with a dozen missing pieces," Mr. Jackson said, referring to what happened to Mr. Storch between late Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, when he was found walking along Arrington Road in Carroll County.

Mr. Storch, 34, who had been stabbed in the stomach and beaten in the head, told police that a man and a woman abducted him from a Jessup hotel where the group was to meet.

The car was found across from that Jessup hotel, Mr. Jackson said.

Mr. Jackson said police "have not been able to corroborate much of the information in this case."

Mr. Storch, a resident of northwest Baltimore and president of the M. Leo Storch Management Corp. real estate company in Lanham, claims to have suffered memory lapses and has been unable to fully recount the ordeal, Mr. Jackson said.

After investigators interviewed him at the Maryland Shock-Trauma Center yesterday, Gov. William Donald Schaefer paid Mr. Storch -- whom the governor referred to as a "good friend" -- a get-well visit.

Police said Mr. Storch met the two unidentified people at the Holiday Inn on U.S. 1 in Jessup for a 10 p.m. Tuesday meeting arranged through his office. But a struggle ensued on the hotel parking lot and the pair handcuffed and blindfolded Mr. Storch and threw him into the back of their van, Mr. Storch told police.

Mr. Storch, who also is a licensed private investigator, was unable to tell police what the meeting was about or how the struggle started, Mr. Jackson said. He also could not identify or describe the man and the woman.

After taking the licensed gun that Mr. Storch routinely carries, the man and woman left the parking lot, one of them presumably driving Mr. Storch's Lincoln Continental, Mr. Jackson said.

Mr. Storch was not heard from again until about 10 a.m. the next day, when he called his wife -- who had reported him missing to police two hours earlier -- to say he had spent the night at a local hotel because he was ill.

"We don't know if the call was made under any duress, possibly at knifepoint or gunpoint," Mr. Jackson said. Also unexplained is what the abductors did with Mr. Storch for the 10 or 11 hours before the phone call, he said.

At noon Wednesday, three withdrawals were made on Mr. Storch's American Express card, totaling $3,500, police said. Each withdrawal was made at an automated teller machine at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where a witness said he saw a man matching Mr. Storch's description, police said.

The abductors then drove the victim to Arrington Road in Sykesville, where they stabbed him several times and beat his head against rocks in a nearby creek, Mr. Storch told police.

Mr. Storch, dazed and disoriented, was found by passing motorists at 3:30 p.m., police said.

Mr. Storch, of the 6700 block of Westbrook Road, was listed in serious but stable condition today at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The small real estate company Mr. Storch runs oversees several shopping centers, mostly in Prince George's County, said property manager Kathy Coakley. A neighbor said Mr. Storch is married and has three young children.

Police learned Wednesday that a plastic bag with identification and other belongings of Mr. Storch was found at a South Baltimore landfill.

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