Couple may have known their killer, family says Police have not established motive in 'brutal' slaying at W. Baltimore rowhouse

January 02, 1996|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,SUN STAFF

The day after a well-liked couple was found killed in their brick rowhouse in West Baltimore, their families and neighbors still were wondering why anyone would want to kill them.

"It's unbelievable," said Linda Jackson, half-sister of John Irvin Jones, 60, who was found dead with his wife, Marylyn, in their home in the 800 block of Mount Holly St. on Sunday afternoon.

The retired truck driver and his wife, a retired Social Security Administration administrator, lived in the corner house for more than 30 years and were very cautious about opening their doors, relatives said.

Relatives and neighbors believed the Joneses, who had been married for 30 years, may have known their assailant or they would not have opened the front door with multiple locks.

Meanwhile, police say they have not established a motive for the killings.

They arrived at the house shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday after someone notified them that they should "investigate the problem," said police spokeswoman, Agent Ragina L. Cooper. They found the front door opened and Mrs. Jones' body by the front door and Mr. Jones' body in the kitchen.

Police said one was shot and the other stabbed, but would not say how each victim died.

"It was a brutal murder," Agent Cooper said. "It was very, very bloody."

Yesterday, relatives arrived to clean the Jones' modest home. "Obviously, we were all upset," said Roland Brown, Mr. Jones' half-brother. "We have no idea" who would want to kill them.

Ms. Jackson said she didn't believe the killings were motivated by robbery because "nothing was taken. Her jewelry was on her. She had beautiful wedding rings."

About 11 years ago, the couple's only child, John Irvin Jones Jr., was fatally shot outside a city nightclub. "He [Mr. Jones] never really got over Little Irvin's death," Ms. Jackson said.

Now, family and friends have to deal with the death of the Joneses.

"He was like a father to me," said Darryl Sapp, 31, who lives across the street. Mr. Jones gave his boys and other neighborhood children sweets.

"They were just homebodies," Ms. Jackson said. She said Mr. Jones was the second eldest of nine children and Mrs. Jones had one brother. "She was just the sweetest person."

For Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. Jones visited family and looked forward to the new year.

Yesterday, relatives were planning their funerals.

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