Divers retrieve gun suspected in Feb. slaying

January 23, 1994|By Staff Report

Maryland State Police say they have found a handgun in Big Pipe Creek southeast of Taneytown that a tipster told them was the weapon used to kill a 34-year-old Westminster fisherman in February.

Divers from the state police Underwater Recovery Team retrieved the gun from the creek near Route 140, and police sent it to their crime lab for study, they said.

In a news release issued last week, police did not say when or exactly where they found the gun. The distance from the spot where the body was found to the area where the handgun was recovered is about six miles.

Police called the tipster "an unidentified subject."

They declined to comment further and have made no arrests.

William Charles Prodoehl was killed Feb. 17 or 18. Initial police reports said he died of blows to the head by a blunt object, but an autopsy later showed he was killed by several gunshot wounds.

The homicide was Carroll's second of 1993.

In February, police said his wife, Gina Maria Catterton Prodoehl, and Roy Monroe Robertson, a family friend, went looking for Mr. Prodoehl after he failed to return from a fishing trip.

They found his body in the snow along the Monocacy River in Harney on Feb. 18.

Divers searched the Monocacy River area at the time but found no weapons.

Mr. Prodoehl had left for the lightly wooded area in the 4500 block of Baptist Road, near Starners Dam, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. the previous day.

Mr. Robertson, 44, has said police consider him a suspect in the killing. He is currently being held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Carroll County Detention Center on charges of sexual child abuse.

Mr. Robertson was arrested Dec. 31 on 14 charges. Police said he molested five people, including two 6-year-old girls.

His attorney, Judith S. Stainbrook of Westminster, said the molestation charges were a ruse to compel Mr. Robertson to answer questions about the fatal shooting of Mr. Prodoehl.

Mr. Prodoehl was a construction worker and lived in the 1100 block of Singer Drive.

Police have twice appealed to the public for help in finding his killer, and the grand jury looked into the case last summer.

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