Three people found slain Apparent stabbings occurred in rowhouse on Park Heights Ave.

Two men, one woman

Relative found bodies yesterday afternoon

police mum on names

September 28, 1997|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

Two men and a woman were found dead in a bloody Park Heights rowhouse yesterday, apparent victims of a triple homicide, police said.

Neighbors and family members said the dead woman was Ophelia Henson, 49, a resident of the house. Police would not release the names of any of the victims.

One of the bodies was discovered by a woman related to Henson. She had stopped by yesterday afternoon to check on Henson, whom she had not heard from recently, police said.

The woman immediately called police to the house at 4631 Park Heights Ave. about 1: 30 p.m. When they arrived, one police officer said, they discovered blood on the walls and floor of the house, and three people who had been stabbed repeatedly.

"The exact cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner," police spokeswoman Ragina Cooper said outside the house yesterday.

There have been at least 224 homicides in the city this year. Police were unable to give an up-to-date total yesterday.

The slayings occurred in a two-story rowhouse next to an alley littered with discarded liquor bottles and prophylactics.

People gathered outside the house yesterday. When the scarlet body bags were taken out the back of the house, dozens of people rushed into the alley to watch.

A man ripped the branches off a tree so he could get a better view of the medical examiners bringing the bodies out.

A television cameraman thanked him.

Henson's niece, Angie Henson, 25, traveled from Randallstown after her father called her to tell her the news of her aunt's death.

Standing in an alley in the back of the house, Angie Henson said she last saw her aunt two weeks ago.

"She told me she would come visit. I never thought anything like this would happen," Henson said. "When my father told me, I started crying."

Another of Henson's nieces, who lived next door, said she heard screaming and arguing late Friday night.

"I heard yelling last night, but I didn't pay no attention to it because there is always yelling in Park Heights," said Ivolee Henson, 27.

"She was always happy when I seen her."

The women said Henson had two daughters, Cassandra and Carla.

Yesterday, Henson's roommate, Ester Joiner, 53, returned from a two-week stay with her mother to find the rowhouse surrounded by police. She sat stunned on the sidewalk outside the house, still carrying a bag of clothes.

"I never expected nothing like this," said Joiner, who had shared the house with Henson for the past three months.

Neighbors said they often heard yelling and arguing around the house.

People routinely filed in and out of second-floor apartment, one neighbor said.

Lisa Cherry, 26, a neighbor, said that she walked by the house Thursday night around 6: 30 and saw Henson arguing with two men.

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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