Meals on Wheels executive found dead in car Former husband charged with murder

February 07, 1997|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

A 58-year-old Pikesville woman who was a longtime executive at Meals on Wheels was found dead in the trunk of her car early yesterday, and Baltimore County police have charged her former husband in the slaying.

Investigators discovered the body of Francesca Ann Holland, of the first block of Montaigne Court, in the trunk of her 1989 Honda Civic hours after it was found parked near her former husband's Essex house, said police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Novak.

David Lee Holland, 40, of the 900 block of Honeywood Place was charged with first-degree murder and was being held yesterday without bond at the county detention center.

'Devastated and Shocked'

"We are just devastated and shocked by this," said Faye Carey, director of development at Meals on Wheels on South Haven Street in Baltimore. "This is a great loss to us."

Bob Schap, executive director of Meals on Wheels, said, "She was a very upbeat person who always liked to look at the bright side of things."

Francesca Ann Holland was deputy executive director at Meals on Wheels for eight years, Carey said, and had held other positions in the organization during her 18-year career.

The Hollands divorced in November, records show.

David Lee Holland has been in trouble before.

In 1975, he was convicted of raping and robbing a 23-year-old art student and robbing her roommate at the women's downtown Baltimore apartment. He was sentenced to 35 years for the crimes, in which he posed as a social services investigator to gain access to the apartment.

Met in prison

He and Francesca Ann Holland met while he was in prison and she was a volunteer social worker, sources said. He was paroled in 1993, according to state records.

According to court records, a Baltimore County district judge ordered David Lee Holland to have no contact with Francesca Ann Holland after he was charged with misdemeanor theft in July 1995. The charge eventually was dropped.

Possessions found in trash

Novak said police discovered that Francesca Ann Holland was missing when they were called to her apartment complex about 11 a.m. Wednesday by a maintenance man who had found some of her property in a trash bin and thought it odd.

Detectives began a missing-person investigation when they discovered that she did not show up for work and that her car was missing.

About 6: 30 p.m. Wednesday, detectives found her Civic parked in the 900 block of Honeywood Place, and a police dog detected the possible scent of a body in the trunk, Novak said. Police towed the car to police headquarters and found Francesca Ann Holland's body inside.

After searching David Lee Holland's home, police arrested him about 3 a.m. yesterday.

The cause of Francesca Ann Holland's death was not immediately known, Novak said. Investigators are awaiting results of an autopsy.

Pub Date: 2/07/97

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