Police still not certain if girl's death was accident Dozens questioned in investigation

December 27, 1992|By Frank Lynch | Frank Lynch,Staff Writer

A month after a 16-year-old girl was found unconscious on a little-traveled road in Level, police remain uncertain whether her death was an accident.

Police initially listed Nita Milak's death Nov. 25 as a fatal accident involving a motor vehicle, but later reclassified it as "suspicious."

Since then, investigators have interviewed dozens of friends, family members, neighbors and others who knew the John Carroll High Schoolstudent.

Linda Van Name, who lives near Deer Park Court and Wilkinson Road, said she became suspicious after her dog "started raising a ruckus."

Soon after, she walked to the gravel road and found Nita face down in a pool of blood. She called 911, then returned to offer first aid.

A report in last Sunday's Harford edition of The Sun suggested that Mrs. Van Name told police she had seen Nita and a neighborhood boy having what "appeared to be an argument." That statement, however, did not come from Mrs. Van Name but from a source in the medical examiner's office. Mrs. Van Name said last week that she did had not witnessed an argument or confrontation.

Investigators said Nita's vehicle, a 1990 Jeep Wagoneer, was found backed against a tree about 60 feet from where she was found. The keys were in the ignition. The engine was not running.

To protect evidence, police sent the vehicle to the state police barracks in Benson. The next day, it was moved to the state police crime lab.

Last week, the state police crime lab completed an examination of the vehicle.

According to Louis C. Portis, director of the crime lab, the vehicle underwent "extensive examination and each unit taking part will submit a written report." He said that some units took longer than others. The final report will be given to the Harford County Sheriff's Office as soon as it is completed, he said. Mr. Portis said that a copy of the report would be given to the state medical examiner, if requested.

Dr. John E. Smialek, the state medical examiner, said he must see the state police report before he can present a complete medical examiner's report to the Harford County state's attorney.

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 Nita's death, police said.

Lt. James Smith of the Harford County Sheriff's Office said a state police safety inspection of the vehicle should be completed this week.

Dr. Surendra K. Milak, Nita's father, was contacted at home when she 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.

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