It's been three years since her husband was slain, but the hurt is still fresh for Tish King -- as fresh as her daily prayer that the killer will be caught.
George King, 45, was working the midnight-to-8 a.m. shift at Prestige Messenger Service in Arbutus on Dec. 12, 1994, when a person or persons came in, robbed the company of 14 metal boxes that held coins for pay telephones, and shot him. His body was left behind a trash bin.
"You keep going and try to rebuild your world, but there are not enough pieces left to rebuild it," said Tish King, 43, of Baltimore. "I pray every day that the person will be caught, and I pray that the detectives will have the strength to keep going on this."
Baltimore County homicide detectives have not given up.
They are pinning their hopes for closing the case on the stolen boxes, which they hope to find.
Only five boxes have been recovered. Homicide Detective Gerry D'Angelo, assigned to the King case, believes that finding the remaining nine is essential to solving the case -- and the Police Department hopes the public will help.
"We think it's a solvable case," D'Angelo said. "We'd like to find the missing coin boxes -- the break we need may come from the boxes."
The boxes are about the size of a briefcase, D'Angelo said, and are made of black, gray or brown plastic or vinyl, with metal corners. The boxes are unmarked, with nothing on the outside to indicate that money is stored inside -- except each box's weight, which is 65 to 70 pounds when full.
"Nobody but an employee or an ex-employee would have known that the coins were there," D'Angelo said. Each box held five racks of coins installed in pay telephones, he said, which made the boxes heavy.
Together, the 14 boxes held about $6,000 in coins, D'Angelo said. The five that were recovered were found soon after the killing, in a wooded area on Clipper Mill Road.
The killing devastated King's wife and son, who was 16 when his father died. "Everything we had and did is no longer," Tish King said. "It's been hell."
She said she and her husband met when she was 19 -- a chance encounter at Red Rooster Inn on Moravia Road. They married two years later and had one son.
"He was my heart, my life, my world," she said of her husband. "He was a good man."
Her husband worked two jobs, she said -- he sold real estate during the day and worked at Prestige at night.
"He was a hard-working man, and he was killed making a living," she said. "The whole thing was so unfair and so unjust."
D'Angelo echoed her sentiments.
"You have cases that stick in your craw a little more than others, and this is one of them," he said. "George King was just doing his job. There was absolutely no reason you can think of for this guy to be murdered over coins."
Anyone with information about the missing boxes or the killing is asked to call Baltimore County police at 410-887-2198.
Pub Date: 2/05/98