Police charge Baltimore man in fatal stabbings of three Two men, 1 woman found dead in rowhouse Sept. 27

October 26, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

A 36-year-old Baltimore man was charged yesterday in connection with a triple slaying last month in a Park Heights Avenue rowhouse, police said.

Donnell Ratchford was arrested about 7: 30 a.m. at his home in the 4500 block of Derby Manor Drive, said Detective Darryl Massey of the Baltimore police homicide unit.

Ratchford was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, Massey said, and was being held last night at the Central Booking and Intake Center.

Massey would not say what led investigators to Ratchford and would not comment on whether police have other suspects in the case.

The motive for the slayings is under investigation, Massey said.

Two men and a woman were found dead in different parts of the two-story rowhouse at 4631 Park Heights Ave. on the morning of Sept. 27. According to police, each victim had been stabbed several times.

Police said at the time that no weapons or drugs were found in the house, though several empty crack cocaine vials and other drug paraphernalia were found in a nearby alley and vacant dwelling.

At least one of the victims knew Ratchford, according to Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a city police spokeswoman. She did not elaborate.

Killed were Ophelia Ellen Henson, 49, who lived in the Park Heights Avenue house owned by her mother; Henson's boyfriend, Craig Houston Culley, 37, who also lived there; and Willie Ray Howard, 49, an acquaintance of Henson's who was a temporary resident, according to police.

Pub Date: 10/26/97

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