Family pleads for clues in slaying

October 16, 1992|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

The killer of a man slain in front of his two children in Northwest Baltimore is still on the loose, and the victim's family made a plea yesterday for someone to come forward with clues.

James R. Canty, 40, was shot once in the chest Sept. 25 after he saw a man attempting to break into his car. The would-be thief had started to walk away when Mr. Canty asked him what he was doing, and the man then spun around and fired a shot, police said.

"There's a good possibility this man will never be caught, and that is wrong," said Mr. Canty's wife, Sandra Y. Canty. "Someone saw something, that's a busy street. Please don't let this guy think it's OK to kill my husband."

Homicide Detective Gene Constantine said police have found a witness to the crime but have been unable to locate any suspects. Metro Crimestoppers and three anonymous sources have established an $8,000 reward fund for information leading to Mr. Canty's killer, he said.

Mr. Canty's two 10-year-old children, James Jr. and Hope, were standing several feet behind their father when he was shot at the corner of Liberty Heights and Gwynn Oaks avenues. The three had just walked out of a Chinese restaurant when they saw the stranger at their car.

James Jr. celebrated his 10th birthday on Wednesday and, while blowing out the candles on his cake, he wished that "God would bring his father back," his mother said.

Earlier this week, he and his mother and sister went to bereavement therapy, Mrs. Canty said. "There have been so many homicides since my husband's death. I'm feeling that murder is not only becoming a part of life in Baltimore, but it's becoming a way of life," Mrs. Canty said. "My kids haven't really been able to open up about it."

Marti Franklin, a Baltimore County police officer who works part-time for the Maryland Stadium Authority, said she is hoping to get Orioles tickets donated to the Canty children, both of whom enjoyed watching baseball with their father.

"If nothing else, I'm going to give them a personal tour of Camden Yards. I think it would help them out," Ms. Franklin said.

Anyone with information about Mr. Canty's slaying is asked to call the homicide unit at 396-2100.

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