Girl's plea for help leads police to the body of her slain mother Woman found stabbed in Woodlawn townhouse

September 06, 1997|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Lisa Respers contributed to this article.

A 4-year-old girl's plea for help to a neighbor early yesterday led police to the body of her mother, who had been stabbed to death in her two-story Woodlawn townhouse.

The body of Rae Antoinette Corpening, 31, of the 7200 block of Sawmill Branch Road was found after her daughter told a neighbor that "her mother needed help," said Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey.

Corpening had been stabbed repeatedly, Toohey said. The weapon was not found in the house, he said. Corpening's green Ford Escort was missing when police arrived yesterday, but was found abandoned in Howard County, he said.

Corpening's daughter, who was physically unharmed, was placed in the custody of the Department of Social Services, Toohey said.

Few details were available about Corpening yesterday as police questioned the residents of the quiet cluster of tan brick dwellings on Sawmill Branch Road near Rolling Road.

"We're getting conflicting information, so it's hard to piece together details of her personal life," Toohey said.

Joseph Soares, Corpening's next-door neighbor, said she had only lived there about six months. Soares described her as "quiet and reserved" and said neighbors often saw her only in the morning when she left for work and in the evening when she returned.

"She would come in at night and go straight in the house and stay there," Soares said. "She kept to herself, and I never even knew her name until today."

He said he seldom heard any sounds from her townhouse, so when he heard a loud thump next door yesterday morning, he said, he wondered if she had fallen.

"It sounded like someone falling down the steps," Soares said. "But other than that, I didn't hear any yelling or fighting or even a car pulling away."

Toohey said police know of no suspects.

Pub Date: 9/06/97

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