Autopsy shows victim was shot Westminster man's body found near river

February 21, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A 34-year-old Westminster man found dead along the Monocacy River in northern Carroll County on Thursday was killed by several gunshot wounds to the head, an investigator at the state medical examiner's office said yesterday.

While he did not release complete results of the autopsy performed Friday on William Charles Prodoehl, an investigator at the medical examiner's office in Baltimore said a gun had been used in the slaying.

State police in Westminster, who are investigating the death, declined yesterday to confirm the medical examiner's report.

"We're canvassing the area, talking to everyone," Sgt. Louis Kellerman said. "At this point, we're in the very early stages."

About a dozen state police officers are investigating the homicide, Carroll's second of the year.

A diving team was called out yesterday, and officers were said to be looking for a murder weapon, Sergeant Kellerman said. He did not say what type of weapon was being sought.

Mr. Prodoehl was found about noon Thursday by his wife and a family friend who lived with the couple. The victim was lying on his back in a clearing near the Monocacy River in Harney.

Police said Gina Maria Catterton Prodoehl and Roy Robertson went looking for Mr. Prodoehl after he failed to return from a fishing trip. Mr. Prodoehl had left for the lightly wooded area near Starner's Dam between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Police on Thursday initially called the death "unattended" and noted that Mr. Prodoehl had suffered from "head injuries." Investigators also said Thursday that they were unable to determine the cause of death at the scene.

The death was later ruled a homicide.

Police have not disclosed possible suspects or motives.

"We are talking to everybody, doing this thing inch by inch, doing it by the numbers," Sergeant Kellerman said.

Mr. Prodoehl's death comes three weeks after the Jan. 28 shooting of a 22-year-old Westminster man who got caught in the middle of what police called a drug deal gone bad. Gregory Lamont Howard, 22, of Old Manchester Road was on South Center Street when three Baltimore County men drove up seeking the person who had just sold them $40 worth of fake crack, police said.

Mr. Miller, who wasn't involved in the drug transaction, walked toward the car and was killed, police said. Westminster police arrested the three suspects believed to have been in the car within two days of the shooting.

Mr. Prodoehl, who was born in Baltimore, graduated from Randallstown High School in 1977, a spokeswoman at the Myers Funeral Home in Westminster said. Since graduation, he worked as a carpenter with the Carpenters Union Local 101.

He was the father of two children, Karl Jason Prodoehl and Brian Charles Prodoehl. Both are younger than 10, the funeral home spokeswoman said.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. John Catholic Church in Westminster.

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