Police turn up few clues in Cockeysville slayings

June 18, 1995|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,Sun Staff Writer

Baltimore County homicide detectives sorted through details yesterday in the killings of two Cockeysville men at Loch Raven Reservoir, but by day's end said they still had little substantive to follow.

The bodies of the two men, who didn't know each other, were found Thursday night about 200 yards north of the Warren Road bridge in the shallow waters of a secluded Loch Raven Reservoir cove.

Cpl. William James of the police communications office said he fielded calls yesterday in response to a phone number the public could call with information about the slayings. Police said that by 6 p.m. yesterday about 30 calls had come in -- most earlier in the day.

"We passed some information on to the detectives, but I don't know it's going to lead to anything," the corporal said.

Department spokesman E. Jay Miller said yesterday that homicide detectives were still trying to figure out a motive for the killings of Vernon Arthur Smith, 46, and Vincent Brian Young, 26.

One detective went yesterday to Mr. Young's home on Sherwood Road, another worked with forensics evidence and others met at police headquarters yesterday to discuss strategies, Mr. Miller said.

Police stopped cars at random near the bridge between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday to ask if anyone may have passed by the night before and noticed anything unusual, said Cpl. Kevin B. Novak, a county police spokesman. He said no motorist offered any useful information about the slayings, and no repeat of the stops was planned for yesterday.

Mr. Miller said the random traffic stops are common in police investigations.

"It's all part of the painstaking process of trying not to miss anything," he said. "But at this point, we don't have anything very solid, and we're still looking for information."

Police believe that Mr. Smith may have been killed after he went to a favorite fishing spot and stumbled onto a homicide scene. Mr. Smith died from a blow to the head.

Mr. Young was an insurance adjuster and kept guns locked in the bedroom of the group home where he lived for approximately four years. He had been shot several times in the upper torso, police said.

Mr. Miller said detectives arrived at the bridge area Thursday night shortly after the bodies were found at 10:30 p.m., and looked for clues there until about 2 p.m. Friday.

They found a trail of blood and signs of a struggle, he said.

The two slayings represented the second double homicide in Baltimore County this year and brought the 1995 homicide total there to 14. At this time last year, there had been 11 homicides in the county.

Police said anyone with information should call 887-2198.

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