Foul play suspected in disappearances Abandoned minivan, keys found in neighborhood known for drug activity

March 02, 1996|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,SUN STAFF

Detectives from Howard and Baltimore counties suspect foul play in the disappearance of a man and a woman, who have been missing for two weeks, after police found the man's van abandoned in Baltimore City with its keys in the ignition.

Courtney Williams, 27, of the 3000 block of Oak Green Circle in Ellicott City and Tomeka Jefferson, 24, of Randallstown have not been heard from since they were at Mr. Williams' apartment Feb. 15, police said.

Ms. Jefferson last spoke with her family about 10 o'clock that night when the two were about to go out, police said.

"It looks suspicious," said Sgt. Steven Keller, a spokesman for the Howard County Police Department.

Sharon Ellerbe, Mr. Williams' roommate, reported him missing Feb. 17, and Ms. Jefferson's family reported her missing Feb. 19.

Her family initially hesitated to call police because they thought she might have taken a brief trip. But she has not reported to her job as a legal clerk at a Baltimore law firm since Feb. 15.

"This is really unexpected," said Missy Myers of East Baltimore, Ms. Jefferson's oldest sister. "My sister was really naive in thinking nothing would happen to her."

Howard police began investigating the case, and on Feb. 21 Baltimore City officers found Mr. Williams' 1995 Nissan Quest minivan.

The vehicle was behind an apartment building in the 4500 block of Old Frederick Road, a West Baltimore neighborhood that police said has been known for drug activity.

"That's really odd," said Sgt. Kevin B. Novak, a Baltimore County police spokesman. "It definitely makes you feel some foul play is involved."

Police have collected other information that leads them to suspect foul play, Sergeant Keller said, but he declined to provide details.

Howard County police are offering a reward for information that helps them find the couple. Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 313-2220.

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