Police find burned bodies behind store

January 31, 1995|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Sun Staff Writer

The bodies of two men, both burned beyond recognition, were found early today behind the Lansdowne Shopping Center in the 3900 block of Hollins Ferry Road by a Baltimore County police officer investigating a fire behind a food market.

The bodies, both believed to be African Americans, were removed to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy and possible identification.

Police spokesman E. Jay Miller said the victims were probably killed elsewhere before being dumped next to each other about six feet from the rear wall of Nalley's IGA food market.

The area is poorly illuminated and not readily visible by speeding traffic on Interstate 295, located several hundred yards away.

Investigators interviewed several patrons of Renee's restaurant and lounge, located in the shopping center and near the market, but none heard any unusual sounds coming from where the bodies were found.

"If they had been alive when set on fire behind the food store, someone here would have heard the cries," said an employee of Renee's.

Police also asked patrons and the management if they saw anyone in the lounge earlier whose clothing matched one of the victims.

None reportedly did.

Mr. Miller said Officer William Kollmer of the Wilkens Precinct was on routine patrol about 12:20 a.m. today when he saw a fire behind the shopping center.

As the officer approached, he realized the burning objects were two bodies and reportedly called for back-up units.

Using the fire extinguishers they carry in their patrol cars, the officers extinguished the burning bodies.

Later, members of the homicide squad also responded to the scene.

Mr. Miller said it was apparent that one of the victims was wearing a flannel shirt and blue jeans.

The other person, he said, was so severely burned that it was not possible to describe his clothing.

He said some kind of flamable liquid was apparently used to ignite the bodies and that the police arson squad removed evidence to determine the type.

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