2 Balto. Co. women found slain in Carney Mother, 75, and daughter, 39, found stabbed in living room of their home

January 25, 1993|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Staff Writer

A 75-year-old mother and her 39-year-old daughter were found stabbed to death in their Carney home last night, Baltimore County police report.

After notifying relatives, police identified the victims as Gertrude Poffel, 75, and her daughter, Pamela, 39, both of 2816 Fifth Ave.

The bodies remained inside the house overnight while homicide detectives examined the crime scene. The state medical examiner's office in Baltimore was to perform autopsies on the two women today.

The women were found stabbed to death shortly before 8 p.m. last night by a friend of the daughter who spoke on the telephone to one of the women earlier in the day, police said.

E. Jay Miller, a police spokesman, said detectives were looking into the possibility that the deaths were drug-related. No arrests have been made.

While Mr. Miller declined to provide details or say whether any illegal drugs were found in the house, one neighbor said the daughter, who was single, had sought help through a drug rehabilitation program. Gertrude and Pamela Poffel yelled at each other, too, the neighbor said. "It got to a point the arguments were so frequent that we didn't pay any attention to them," the neighbor said.

The neighbor, who has known the Poffels more than 10 years, said Pamela Poffel worked occasionally as a security guard and frequently had male friends at the house.

Mr. Miller said the friend who found the bodies arrived at the house at 7:55 p.m.

After knocking a few times, the friend entered through the front door, which was ajar, police said.

Immediately inside the living room on his left, the man found the mother sitting in a chair, her head slumped forward. She had been stabbed repeatedly.

Lying face down a few feet away on the living room floor was the daugther, also dead.

Lt. Samuel Bowerman, of the homicide squad, said kitchen knives were being examined as possible weapons.

Mr. Miller said that the living room TV was still on when the friend discovered the bodies and that a woolen cap and a few papers were found on the living room floor.

He said there were signs of a struggle. "Things are scattered about but the place isn't torn up," he said.

Sergeant Karen Sciascia said police were awaiting the arrival of relatives who they hoped would be able to tell them if any property was missing from the home.

Mr. Miller said the friend left the house and ran down Fifth Avenue to Harford Road across from the Carney branch of the public library to find a telephone when he flagged down a passing Parkville District policeman.

Minutes later, the house was cordoned off with yellow tape and police began their lengthy investigation.

"We'll be here all night," said Mr. Miller shortly before midnight.

He said the friend who found the bodies was taken to the Parkville District station, where he was interviewed and released.

While officers awaited the arrival of a search warrant so they could examine the brick 2-story duplex in detail, they took photos of the crime scene and interviewed neighbors, none of whom reported hearing any suspicious sounds or cries for help, Mr. Miller said.

A neighbor who declined to be named and whose house is directly behind the Poffel's said she saw Gertrude Poffel walking her dog, a Pomeranian, in the back yard at 2:30 p.m.

"We had guests over for the day and never heard any noises coming from the house," said one the neighbor.

The neighbor said Gertrude Poffel was a member of St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Cub Hill.

Gertrude Poffel's brother, the neighbor said, is a priest in Florida and she had other relatives who lived in the Baltimore area.

A neighbor who lives directly across the street from the Poffel's home said Gertrude Poffel's husband died several years ago,

Another neighbor said she knew Pamela Poffel all her life but lost contact with her as each grew up and went their separate ways.

"I haven't seen or talked to her for a long time," the neighbor said.

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