Authorities in Harford County arrested three men yesterday in the killing of an Aberdeen cab driver who was sent to a watery grave in the trunk of his taxi.
The three suspects -- who fled out the back door of a house on Cedar Lane near Aberdeen as police arrived to serve arrest warrants -- were captured about 8:30 p.m. after a manhunt in the nearby woods, said Capt. James Stonesifer, chief of criminal investigation for the county sheriff's office.
The victim, 41-year-old Elvert Jones, was found dead late Friday in the trunk of his Victory Cab Co. car after it was towed from the bottom of an abandoned, 55-foot-deep slate quarry in the Whiteford section of the county.
Mr. Jones was last heard from about 9:30 p.m. Monday when he contacted a company dispatcher. He wanted to know how much to charge for a ride from an Aberdeen car wash to Edgewood, and was told the fare should be $12.
He never radioed back, according to dispatcher Cissy Mauck.
On Friday, Aberdeen police received a tip that Mr. Jones, a cab driver for several years, had been robbed and killed outside town.
Because stolen cars are sometimes left at the quarry, investigators looked there Friday afternoon and discovered tire tracks along its edge.
Six hours later, divers located the cab on the quarry bottom. Mr. Jones' body was discovered in the trunk after the vehicle was towed out of the quarry about 10:30 p.m.
Investigators said it appeared that he had not been shot or stabbed, and said it was possible that he had drowned in the trunk of the vehicle.
His body was sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.
Robbery was believed the motive, police said.
Arrested and charged with first-degree murder were three Aberdeen residents: Stanley Joseph Baczeski, 29, of the 200 block of Valley Road; and brothers Clifton Paul Brinegar, 19, of the 200 block of Plaza Court, and Billy Joe Brinegar, 22, of the first block of Warren Street.
Mr. Jones lived in the 300 block of James Street in Aberdeen, where he cared for several older veterans and his elderly father, according to the police.
His murder stunned fellow cab drivers.
"I'm thinking about quitting," said Victory driver Bob Jones, who was choked in an attack May 18 by a man who stole his cab. Mr. Jones' alleged assailant was arrested and charged with the stabbing deaths later that day of two elderly women in White Hall.