Dead woman in burning car had been shot


An unidentified woman killed by a shot to the head was found in a burning stolen car early yesterday in the parking lot of the Seasons Apartments in North Laurel, the site of a Howard County police community satellite office.

Residents called firefighters to the apartments in the 9700 block of Covered Wagon Drive just north of the Prince George's County line about 12: 30 a.m., Howard County police said. The firefighters found the woman's body in the passenger seat of the white 1996 Honda Accord after they extinguished the blaze.

An autopsy yesterday revealed that the woman -- an African-American about 5 feet 5 inches -- had been shot in the head before the fire, Howard police Sgt. Glenn Hanson said.

The car was reported stolen July 2 from a Suitland resident who had stopped at a Prince George's gas station.

Police are canvassing apartment residents to try to find anyone who saw any part of the incident and are reviewing missing-persons reports to try to identify the dead woman, Hanson said.

Howard police opened a satellite office in the 1,100-unit Seasons Apartments -- formerly called Whiskey Bottom Apartments -- in May, a month after a black family's townhouse was vandalized with racial slurs.

Racist fliers also were distributed in the complex parking lot in early April, but police yesterday said they were not aware of any connection between the racial incidents and the woman's death.

Pub Date: 7/07/96

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