The state police crime laboratory has completed an examination of the 1990 Jeep Wagoneer that belonged to Nita Milak, the 16-year-old girl who was found unconscious Nov. 25 and later died in what police label a suspicious death.
"That vehicle underwent extensive examination and each unit taking part will submit a written report," said Louis C. Portis, director of the crime lab. "Some units took longer than others and it takes time to formulate a final report."
The final report will be given to the Harford County Sheriff's Office as soon as it is completed. Mr. Portis said that a copy of the report would also be given to the state medical examiner, if requested.
"Before I can present a finished report to the Harford County state's attorney, I must see the state police report on the vehicle," said Dr. John E. Smialek, the state medical examiner. "I've been told the vehicle has been returned to the sheriff's office, but that's as much information I have."
Although Dr. Smialek has not completed his report concerning Nita's death, he said that tests conducted by his office indicate that she had not been raped and was not pregnant.
He also said the toxicology results were negative, indicating there were no drugs or alcohol in the bloodstream.
Dr. Smialek and investigators from the sheriff's office met Dec. 11 in Baltimore to exchange information about the death of the John Carroll High School student whose body was found on a seldom-traveled road in Level, police said.
Deputy DeWayne Curry confirmed that the vehicle has been returned to the sheriff's office and is now being checked for possible mechanical malfunction.
He also said the first officers on the scene were traffic investigators and that they then radioed for help from the criminal investigation division.
Investigators said Nita's vehicle was found backed against a tree about 60 feet from where she was found. The keys were in the ignition but the engine was not running.
To protect evidence, police sent Nita's vehicle to the state police barracks in Benson. The next day, it was sent to the state police crime lab.
According to Deputy Curry, the vehicle has been returned to the sheriff's office.
Police initially listed Nita's death as a "fatal accident involving a motor vehicle," but later reclassified it as "suspicious." Since then, investigators have conducted dozens of interviews with friends, family, neighbors and others who knew Nita.
Lin Van Name who lives near Deer Park Court and Wilkinson Road said she became suspicious after her dog "started raising a ruckus." She told police that, using a pair of binoculars, she saw Nita and a neighborhood boy having what "appeared to be an argument."
A short time later she walked down to the gravel road and found Nita face down in a pool of blood. She called 911 and then returned to offer first aid.
Dr. Surendra K. Milak, Nita's father, was contacted at home as soon as his daughter reached Harford Memorial Hospital where he is chief of emergency services. He then rode with Nita as she was taken by ambulance to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where she died.