Two quiet lives end in terrible silence Neighbors noticed woman's absence

August 04, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

Cathryn B. Farrar and her friend George W. "Billy" Wahl led quiet lives in their homes several blocks apart in Westminster. They stood out in a town of motorists because they walked nearly everywhere they went -- sometimes together, sometimes separately.

Ms. Farrar, 39, was not employed. Mr. Wahl, 35, was a crew worker at McDonald's of Westminster and the brother-in-law of Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman.

Monday night, the two were found stabbed to death in separate areas of Ms. Farrar's apartment in the Bishop's Garth complex on Charles Street. Each had been dead for several days.

Tenants in the complex said Ms. Farrar had been friendly but reserved, not a socializer. She had moved to Bishop's Garth in 1991.

Neighbors described Mr. Wahl as easygoing and friendly, but said they hadn't seen him much lately around his mother's home on Bishop Court. They said he spent much of his free time with Ms. Farrar.

City police found the bodies after Barbara Abel, who lived across the hall from Ms. Farrar, called police. She acted after neighbors realized they hadn't seen Ms. Farrar around, which was unusual.

Some tenants also had noticed an unpleasant odor from Ms. Farrar's apartment.

"I lived in Baltimore for five years and I was never as close to anything like this," Ms. Abel said yesterday. "For the first time, I've barred my windows."

Neighbors said Ms. Farrar had not been seen since Thursday. The Rev. Robert S. Jones, a maintenance assistant in the complex, noticed Thursday that the orange Chevette Ms. Farrar had bought about a month ago was gone from the parking lot. Neighbors haven't seen it since.

"I figured by the car being gone, she'd gone to visit some of her folks," Mr. Jones said. He said he understood Ms. Farrar was from North Carolina.

Jodi Aikins, office manager for Metropolitan Associates Development Corp., owner of Bishop's Garth, said Ms. Farrar didn't list any family members on her lease. However, Mrs. Aikins and her husband, maintenance supervisor Larry Aikins, said they believed Ms. Farrar's son moved in with her several months ago.

Mr. Wahl was "a very friendly, outgoing person," said the Rev. Donald Pickens, pastor of the First Assembly of God in Westminster. He said Mr. Wahl was an active member who helped with church building maintenance.

"He was a nice guy," said Bishop's Court neighbor Sam Mathias. "He was always smiling and waving."

Mr. Wahl was the son of Beverly A. Megahan Clelland of Westminster and John N. Wahl of Key West, Fla. In addition to his parents, he is survived by two brothers, J. Douglas Wahl of Hampstead and James E. Wahl of Westminster; a sister, Susan M. Hickman of Middleburg; and his maternal grandmother, Helen Richards of Westminster.

No information about Ms. Farrar's family could be obtained yesterday.

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