Fugitive in April beating death of girlfriend is found in N.C. Tip leads to arrest of 35-year-old man

June 10, 1993

After eluding police for nearly two months, a 35-year-old ma wanted in the beating death of a woman whose body was found in Rocky Gorge Reservoir was arrested Tuesday afternoon in North Carolina.

In a Howard County arrest warrant, Marvin Philander Smith, of no fixed address, was charged with first-degree murder in the April 13 death of his girlfriend, Vanessa "Van" Armstead of the 1100 block of Argyle Ave. in Baltimore, police said.

The 38-year-old woman's body was discovered by a fisherman just before noon that day in the reservoir in Scaggsville, police said.

An autopsy revealed that she died from multiple injuries, apparently inflicted with a blunt weapon.

Her death was the second homicide in Howard County this year.

County police said someone in North Carolina who was acquainted with Mr. Smith tipped the Lee County Sheriff's Office in Sanford, N.C., as to his whereabouts.

The sheriff's office then contacted Howard County police.

Mr. Smith will be detained in Lee County until he is extradited to Howard County, police said.

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