Man charged in slaying of Laurel resident, 25

March 16, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

Howard County police yesterday arrested a 33-year-old Laurel man and charged him with the murder of another Laurel man who had been missing for two weeks.

Dennis Donald Ingram, of the first block of Ruth Ave., was arrested at his job at Mill Pottery Inc. in Jessup at 4 p.m., and accused of bludgeoning 25-year-old James Wayne Landon Jr. in the head during an outing in the woods.

Mr. Ingram was scheduled for an appearance before a Howard District Court commissioner last night on charges of first-degree murder and assault and battery.

Mr. Landon's death is the first homicide to take place in Howard County this year.

The victim was last seen by his family on March 5. He was reported missing on March 6 after he failed to return or call home, according to family members.

A police investigation led to the search of a wooded area about 10 minutes from Mr. Landon's home in the first block of Center St.

The initial search late Monday night turned up nothing. But at 7:15 a.m. yesterday, with the help of Mid-Atlantic Dogs, a volunteer search dog team, the victim's body was found under brush in a densely wooded area behind Fulton Avenue, near the Patuxent River at the Howard County line.

Mr. Landon's body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in downtown Baltimore yesterday for an autopsy. Preliminary findings, expected to be released today, could determine how long the victim's body had been in the woods, police said.

According to police, Mr. Ingram and Mr. Landon were not friends, but had met elsewhere and had decided to go drinking in a wooded area. At some point during the outing, Mr. Ingram attacked Mr. Landon, Howard police spokesman Sgt. Steven Keller said.

"We don't believe the men knew each other prior to this occasion," Sergeant Keller said.

Family, neighbors and friends of the victim comforted each other yesterday at the mobile home park where Mr. Landon had lived.

"He was a good kid," said James "Jimmy" Landon Sr., the victim's father. "He'll always be remembered."

Members of the family had mounted their own search for Mr. Landon, circulating pictures to nearby businesses.

"I think it's terrible myself," said John Landon, the victim's uncle. "He was a clean-shaven boy who never got into trouble."

Friends said Mr. Landon liked to attend church and to ride bicycles with his best friend, Jeff Jones, 25.

"I don't feel too good," said Mr. Jones as he parked his black Schwinn bicycle in front of Mr. Landon's mobile home, visibly upset at news of his friend's death.

Rev. Ernest B. Beevers, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Savage, said Mr. Landon was looking forward to getting baptized soon.

Yesterday, Mr. Beevers visited family members at the victim's home and offered a prayer.

"He was an easy going guy, who was very pleasant," Mr. Beevers later said of Mr. Landon. "But sometimes he'd be with the wrong group. I can't imagine he had enemies, though."

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