Couple found dead son questioned

August 02, 1996|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

An elderly husband and wife were found dead in their South Baltimore rowhouse yesterday, police said, and their 32-year-old son was being questioned last night in connection with the deaths.

Police found the bodies of Harold Wainwright, 69, and his wife Essie, 62, about 5: 25 p.m in separate, second-floor bedrooms in their two-story Formstone house in the 1100 block of S. Hanover St.

Police said the Wainwrights apparently were bludgeoned to death with an ax or another blunt weapon that has not been recovered. The bodies were taken to the state medical $l examiner's office for autopsies.

Police said there were signs of a disturbance in the house, which is in a tight-knit neighborhood, between Otterbein and Federal Hill, near Cross Street Market.

Police spokesman Sam Ringgold said the son told police he returned home around 10 a.m. Wednesday and got into an argument with his mother in her bedroom. His stepfather soon arrived and reportedly was confronted by the son in an upstairs bedroom, Ringgold said the son told police.

An owner of Mum's Bar, about 100 feet away and across the street from the Wainwrights' residence, called police after he learned that Mr. Wainwright had not gone to work yesterday.

The owner said Mr. Wainwright, a retired truck driver, had worked at the bar for more than 10 years, opening it five days a week at 7 a.m. and cleaning it until 10 a.m.

Police said when officers arrived at the house about 5: 25 p.m. they were met at the front door by the son, who let them in.

Upstairs, the officers found the couple dead in separate rooms. At least one body was bloodied.

Police said they believe the couple had been dead for about 24 hours.

The son was taken in handcuffs to the homicide squad at police headquarters, where he was being questioned.

Pub Date: 8/02/96

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