Fibers, weapon lead to arrests in case of body wrapped in rug Silver Spring man charged in slaying

July 16, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

In Baltimore, police officers found the body rolled in a carpet and two men trying to throw it into a trash bin.

In Montgomery County, detectives traced a trail of wineberry-colored carpet fibers from a second-floor apartment to parking lot. At a Midas Muffler shop in Silver Spring, they said they found a gun and one spent shell casing tucked in a duffel bag.

For homicide detectives working at different departments 36 miles apart, the clues quickly added up to murder charges against Ramsey Charles Gilmore, 22, in the killing of his cousin and roommate, Jamal Rahim Stringfellow, 26.

Court papers filed yesterday say that Gilmore confessed to shooting Stringfellow once in the back of the head in their apartment at the Nob Hill Apartment complex in Silver Spring, late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Lemuel Keith Brown, 29, of Suitland, who works with Gilmore at )) the Midas shop, was charged with being an accessory after the fact for allegedly helping his co-worker try to dispose of the body.

Good luck and obvious clues helped investigators unravel the case. Had two Baltimore officers not stumbled on the early morning disposal at the Claremont Homes public housing complex in East Baltimore, investigators said they may never have known a slaying had occurred.

"That body could have gone to the dump," said Ann Evans, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Police Department.

Court documents report Gilmore and his cousin argued over "ongoing personal differences" before the shooting. On Thursday, Gilmore told detectives, he bought the carpet and wrapped the body in a sheet and the rug and closed it with duct tape.

According to court documents, Gilmore said he paid Brown $500 to help him dispose of the body. Police said Gilmore left his 1978 Chevrolet Classic station wagon at the Midas shop on Piney Branch Road and stole a 1988 Ford F150 pickup truck belonging to the business. Police said the truck was used to drive the body to Baltimore.

About 2 a.m. Friday, city Police Officer James Lytton and Housing Authority Officer Trever Britt said they saw the truck backed up to a trash bin on Southclare Road and discovered the corpse after feeling the head and feet through the carpet. They arrested the two men.

Later that day, Montgomery County police searched Gilmore's apartment, found a rug receipt and "noticed numerous pieces of what appears to be pinkish or red carpet fibers leading from the front door of the residence, through the lobby and out into the parking lot," court papers say.

Gilmore is being held without bail at the Montgomery County Detention Center. Brown has been released on $10,000 bail.

Pub Date: 7/16/96

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