Woman, daughter slain at home Bodies were found in 2-story rowhouse on Greenspring Ave.

July 25, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A 74-year-old woman and her daughter were found slain in their Greenspring Avenue home yesterday morning, leaving bewildered neighbors and mourning relatives struggling to understand what prompted the killings.

The bodies of Margaret E. McCarter, who moved into her home in the 3500 block of Greenspring Ave. in the early 1970s, and her daughter, Nadine Evans, 47, were found by police about 9 a.m. on separate floors of the two-story rowhouse north of Druid Hill Park.

Evans, who for three years has been a nurse at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center for the criminally insane in Jessup, moved to the house five years ago to care for her ailing mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, family members said.

Baltimore police were tight-lipped about their investigation, but detectives spent the day interviewing scores of people -- from friends and family members to co-workers. They also were investigating two men who were convicted of robbing Evans in 1990.

But by yesterday evening, police reported few leads in the double slaying. They were awaiting autopsy results. Police said there were obvious signs of foul play but would not elaborate. They found no sign of forced entry.

"There wasn't anyone who wanted to do anything to them," said Evans' brother-in-law, Glenn Leach of Baltimore, who arrived at the home as the bodies were being removed. "They didn't bother nobody."

McCarter lived on the first floor of the neatly kept house; Evans lived upstairs. Neighbors, who described the victims as quiet and friendly, said they last saw the mother and daughter Sunday afternoon, when they returned from church wearing matching pink dresses.

"I think if a fly would land on Margaret and try to bite her, she would not harm that fly," said Henrietta Armstrong, who has lived next door since 1969. "That's the kind of person Margaret was."

Despite McCarter's medical condition, relatives and neighbors said the disease had not progressed far.

"Every time I saw Mrs. McCarter, she was walking up to Cold Spring [Lane] pushing a grocery cart," Armstrong said.

The first sign that something was wrong came with a telephone call to police from co-workers at Perkins, who were concerned that Evans had not shown up at the office today.

Officers went to the neighborhood and questioned neighbors, then went inside the home and found the bodies.

Police spent the rest of the day at the house, which has an electronic security system and iron bars on every window. Evans' Nissan Sentra was parked in front; a brochure for an Aug. 3 outing to Atlantic City and a Gladys Knight performance was on the back seat.

McCarter's husband, Louis, died in the 1970s. Evans had two sons, a 25-year-old in Syracuse, N.Y., and a 23-year-old in Washington who just graduated from Morgan State University.

The son from New York visited this weekend. Relatives said they saw Evans and McCarter on Monday and that Evans had left a message on Leach's answering machine Tuesday night, looking rTC for her sister, Helen, with whom she spoke often.

Leach said Evans had no serious problems that he or other family members knew about. She received threats from time to time at Perkins.

"The kind of job she had was very tough," he said. "One time, somebody hit her. She had a problem with someone who broke out of Perkins. He might have threatened her."

Perkins Superintendent Dr. Richard Fragala said he is confident there is no connection between Evans' death and her work. "We spoke with [the police] and they said they were looking at it a whole different way."

Fragala described Evans as a "most respected and valued employee and that both staff and patients of this facility are immensely saddened."

In December 1990, Evans was one of three people robbed on West North Avenue by two men who watched people cash checks at a grocery store, and then snatched their purses. Evans lost $667 to the thieves.

The two men pleaded guilty and were given 10-year suspended sentences and five years' probation.

Leach said he didn't think the 1990 robbers are responsible for the murders. "Everybody is a victim of robbery here," he said.

Residents on McCarter's street said the neighborhood has been hit repeatedly by burglars; Shawn Powell said her house was broken into two years ago and her television set and cable converter box were taken.

"It's scary," she said.

Pub Date: 7/25/96

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