Man suspected of slaying parents arrested in Ala.

July 08, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer

The nationwide search for a man charged with killing his parents and burying them in a field southeast of Frederick ended yesterday when police arrested the suspect in a hotel room in Mobile, Ala., authorities said.

Police said Bruce Wayne Koenig, 45, used his slain parents' credit card to book a room at a Holiday Inn on a strip of fast-food restaurants and motels west of downtown Mobile.

Detectives with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said they traced the credit card charge and notified Mobile authorities, who sent tactical officers to the hotel about 7:45 a.m.

Tom Jennings, a spokesman for the Mobile Police Department, said Mr. Koenig, dressed in a dark green T-shirt, denim pants and gold-rimmed glasses, answered the door when police knocked and surrendered.

Police recovered the decomposed bodies of Hans and Ruth Koenig of Clarksville on Sunday from shallow graves in a field off Reich's Ford Road, east of the Monocacy River. They were last seen June 20. An autopsy showed Mr. Koenig, 76, and Mrs. Koenig, 64, had been shot.

Authorities said the suspect had been negotiating to buy the rural property.

The bodies were unearthed about 4:30 a.m., 100 yards from a vacant house. Lt. Greg Eyler of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said the suspect had planned to rent out the house to earn money.

Police said they suspected Mr. Koenig would return to San Antonio where he once lived. Mr. Jennings of the Mobile Police Department said officers evacuated the third floor of the Holiday Inn off of Interstate 10 and U.S. 90 when they moved in for their arrest.

He said authorities recovered the slain couple's beige 1985 Cadillac Eldorado at the hotel. He said police found a .22-caliber handgun in the car. Maryland officials said they do not know if it was the weapon used in the slayings.

Mobile police also said they found a kit containing wigs and makeup in the room.

Lieutenant Eyler said detectives from the sheriff's office plan to travel to Mobile today to question the suspect.

Mr. Jennings said Mr. Koenig has indicated he would waive an extradition hearing, which would expedite his return to Maryland to face the murder charges.

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