Body of girl found near Glen Burnie Police don't know cause of death

January 17, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

A jogger found the nude body of a young teen-age girl yesterday morning lying face down in a ravine near several Old Mill-area schools south of Glen Burnie.

The cause of death was not apparent late yesterday afternoon, but Anne Arundel County police said they were treating the death as an apparent homicide. An autopsy was scheduled for today.

While police did not have a positive identification, they were investigating the possibility that the victim was a 14-year-old girl who had been reported missing from a nearby house Friday night.

"It could be one of several people," said Lt. Rick Roth, a county police spokesman. "There is nothing to say right now that the body we recovered is hers."

The lieutenant said homicide detectives found no witnesses but were interviewing people living nearby and searching the ravine for physical evidence.

Police recovered several items of clothing near the body, but Lieutenant Roth said investigators couldn't determine whether they belonged to the victim.

Police said the body was found about 9 a.m., about 100 feet from Shetlands Lane, near Century Towne Road, in a ravine near an old, abandoned car. Police were unsure how long the body had been there.

A path that goes through the wooded area and around the ravine is a popular shortcut for students who walk from the Rainbow View Apartments to the schools, which include Old Mill Senior High School and two Old Mill middle schools.

Neighborhood residents and students gathered along the roadside as police investigated yesterday afternoon. Several middle school students said they were stopped by police Friday night while walking home from a Glen Burnie vs. Old Mill boys basketball game at Old Mill.

"They showed us a picture of a girl," said Diane Otley, 12, a seventh-grader at Old Mill Middle School-South. "They said she had been missing and asked if we had seen her."

Speculation on the body's identity grew as one student brought out two yearbooks and pointed out pictures believed to be of the missing girl. Police said that none of the photos shown reporters was of the missing girl.

"This is scary," said Jenny Burns, 12, a classmate of Diane's.

Yesterday afternoon, police would only confirm that a 14-year-old girl, Lisa Henal, who lived in the area and was a ninth-grader at Old Mill Senior High School, was reported missing Friday evening by her parents when she failed to return home from school.

Lieutenant Roth said the descriptions of the body and the missing girl matched as far as both being white and in the same age group, but cautioned that the body could be that of another reported or unreported missing teen-ager from Anne Arundel County or elsewhere.

But he said the missing girl's parents were to go to the morgue yesterday evening to see if they could identify the body.

Investigators said the body had bruises and blood on the front torso, but there was no way to know the cause of death without an autopsy. And detectives were still trying to determine yesterday exactly where the death occurred.

"We have very limited information to go on," said Lieutenant Roth, who appealed to residents to come forward with information.

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