Progress is slow in solving pair of deaths

January 24, 1993|By Mike Farabaugh 8 | Mike Farabaugh 8,Staff Writer

Investigations into two unsolved deaths in Harford County are progressing slowly.

Authorities continue to search for clues in the deaths of Nita Milak, the 16-year-old John Carroll student who was found mortally injured Nov. 25, and William H. Ford, who died under suspicious circumstances March 1 in the Harford Detention Center.

The key word is "progress," State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly said last week of the investigations. "I know if it involved my son or daughter, I would be anxious to see matters resolved," he said.

Harford County Sheriff's officers have tried to recreate what may have happened on the day Ms. Milak died.

"They [the investigators] have taken video tapes at the scene," said Deputy DeWayne Curry, a department spokesman. "They are hoping to gather enough evidence to formulate a picture of just what took place."

Ms. Milak was found unconscious and bleeding from the head on a remote road in Level.

Her 1990 Jeep Wagoneer was backed up against a tree about 60 feet from where she was found. The ignition had been turned off.

Her body was sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy. The results have not been made public.

"The average medical examiner's report takes about two months," Mr. Cassilly said.

He said that some reports must be finished and returned before the medical examiner can complete a final report.

"Things are clicking the way they should, given the backlog of cases that must be handled," he said.

In the other unsolved case, Mr. Ford, of Wilmington, Del., was serving the fifth day of a 30-day jail sentence for a drunken driving conviction. The 28-year-old was found unconscious by several deputies and was pronounced dead at Fallston General Hospital.

While the cause of death was listed as strangulation, it was unclear whether the death was an accident, suicide or homicide.

"I think we'll be wrapping up the Ford investigation in a couple more weeks," Mr. Cassilly said.

He said that the FBI had been called into the investigation because of the possibility that Mr. Ford's civil rights may have been violated. Getting the FBI involved actually slowed things, he added.

"Once they have finished, we'll sit down with all the investigators and go over the facts to make sure nothing has been overlooked," he said.

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