Woman, 38, daughter, 20, found shot to death Girl, 3, left cowering in E. Baltimore apartment

November 04, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A woman and her daughter were found shot to death yesterday afternoon inside their East Baltimore apartment. A 3-year-old girl was found cowering but unharmed at the shooting scene.

The bodies of Tamara Chester, 38, and her daughter, Tiffany Skinner, 20, were discovered about 2: 15 p.m. by a family friend who police said went into the house after discovering the child standing in a doorway.

Homicide detectives said they had several leads and a possible suspect who knew the victims. Police said each victim was shot in the head.

"This is such a tragedy," said Dwayne Nesbit, 36, who lives near the victims' house in the 1500 block of Eden St.

The victims' friends gathered on Eden Street to mourn and remember the mother and daughter who were so close that they were thought of as sisters.

"They were beautiful people," said Celia Darby, who has lived across the street for 30 years. She said Chester moved in about six years ago. "They would wave to you even if you weren't paying attention."

Police released few details of their investigation, and detectives remained on the scene into the evening.

Lt. Timothy Keel of the homicide unit said the victims were last seen in the neighborhood shortly before noon.

Neighbors did not report hearing any gunshots.

Detectives said a gunman shot the victims between noon and 2: 15 p.m. and then left, leaving Tiffany's young daughter, Alize, with the bodies.

Police said it is unlikely the child witnessed the slayings.

Chester had worked for 16 years at The Sun, first in the mail room at the newspaper's North Calvert Street office and starting in 1993 as a messenger for the advertising department at Sun Park at Port Covington.

She left the company in 1995 and worked two jobs to support her daughter and granddaughter.

"Every time you saw her, she had a different uniform on," Nesbit said.

Friends said Chester was proud of her granddaughter, and proud of Tiffany for completing high school courses.

"She was very proud," Nesbit said, recalling the victim's uncanny ability to put even the most surly person in a good mood. "You might be having a bad day, but she would put a smile on your face."

Pub Date: 11/04/98

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