Balto. Co. police assess tips on 2 Loch Raven slayings Homicide captain calls new information 'better'

March 26, 1996|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County homicide detectives have received about a dozen new tips on June's double homicide at Loch Raven Reservoir -- a crime that has stumped police.

Meanwhile, police are assessing information received from a weekend interview with a Pennsylvania man who had been linked to one of the victims, the head of the homicide unit said yesterday.

"Every tip is better than what we had before," Capt. Rustin E. Price said of the new information, which came after a article about the investigation. Vincent B. Young, 26, and Vernon A. Smith, 46, were found floating in shallow water near the Warren Road bridge the night of June 15. Both men lived in Cockeysville, although police do not believe they knew each other.

Police do not know why Mr. Young was at the reservoir, although they believe he might have gone there to buy a rifle. Mr. Smith was fishing, they say.

Mr. Young was shot with an assault rifle; Mr. Smith was bludgeoned to death, police say.

But the killers left little evidence, other than some shell casings from an AK-47 assault rifle. They left Mr. Young's Honda motorcycle at a small dirt parking lot on Warren Road but took Mr. Smith's red Jeep Cherokee and parked it at Hunt Valley Golf Club.

Captain Price would not provide details about the new tips that police have received.

Over the weekend, homicide detectives interviewed a Summerville, Pa., man who is said to have argued with Mr. Young about two months before the slayings.

A woman who was interviewed by The Sun but who asked not to be identified said a man nicknamed "Jade" argued with Mr. Young about guns and the Vietnam War at the Village Inn, a neighborhood tavern on York Road about two miles from Mr. Young's home on Sherwood Road.

The detectives were tight-lipped yesterday about any information they received from the man, who until December was a construction worker at CC&T Contractors in Cockeysville.

"We are assessing that information from the interview now," Captain Price said. He said police still hope to get information about a Chevrolet Monte Carlo seen in the reservoir area around the time of the slayings.

"Someone out there knows something or has seen the car we are looking for," he said.

He was referring to a "very dark gray-primered" or black-primered 1970s Monte Carlo with a lightning bolt decal on the windshield. The car had black tinted windows, bright chrome tires, a stock cowl induction hood and no front license plate.

Police have made public pleas for information from the driver of the car or anyone who has seen it.

Pub Date: 3/26/96

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