Nevada evidence may aid double-homicide probe

September 11, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

Forensic results and other unspecified evidence sent to Harford sheriff's investigators from a suicide in Nevada on July 22 may help solve a double homicide discovered three days later in Edgewood.

The evidence includes a suicide note found by Nevada park police when they discovered Charles Patrick McDowell, 45, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Valley of Fire State Park, about 40 miles north of Las Vegas.

"Our detectives will sort through the items requested from Las Vegas police investigating the suicide and decide what will be forwarded to the FBI forensic lab for testing," Deputy 1st Class DeWayne Curry, a spokesman for the Harford County sheriff's office, said Wednesday.

Harford deputies found the bludgeoned bodies of Linda Sue McDowell, 43, and her son, Daniel Patrick McDowell, 19, stuffed in plastic bags in a bedroom closet of their Sequoia Drive home after the coroner for Clark County, Nev., had asked deputies to notify Mr. McDowell's relatives of his death.

Charles McDowell was Linda's husband and Daniel's father. He had quit his job as a manager at Ryder Managed Logistics Systems of Bel Air about three weeks before he died.

The family was to go on vacation July 17, so Linda McDowell was not missed by her employer at Waldenbooks in the Harford Mall.

Nevada authorities identified Charles McDowell from papers found on the body, they said.

The two bodies found in Edgewood were sent to the state medical examiner's office and identified by dental records.

Harford investigators have not said if they suspect Charles McDowell of killing his wife and son. Nor have they revealed the contents of the note found with his body.

Deputy Curry said it was unclear why Nevada authorities took so long to send test results and evidence here.

He also would not predict when sheriff's investigators expect to receive a report on the evidence submitted to the FBI lab or whether it will enable them to solve the Edgewood homicides.

The McDowells also had a 23-year-old son, Scott, who did not live at the Sequoia Drive residence.

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