Teams of detectives work to solve slaying Elkridge woman, 35, found slain Sunday

November 19, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Howard County Police Chief Wayne Livesay said yesterday that his officers were doing everything they could to solve the weekend slaying of an Elkridge mother of a young child.

"This is still a 'who done it,' " Livesay said. "We're not positive about any suspects. We have teams of detectives assigned" to investigate the homicide.

About 7: 45 p.m. Sunday, police found Sara J. Williamson Raras stabbed in her family room, police said. Raras, the mother of a 1-year-old son, worked for the National Security Agency.

Police would not speak publicly about details of the crime or suspects, but Livesay said, "We will solve this case; I assure you of that."

Detectives met yesterday to discuss strategies in pursuing leads, a police spokeswoman said, and they were planning to question more people. Police said the 35-year-old died sometime between Saturday afternoon, when she was last seen alive, and Sunday evening, when officers received a call from a worried friend of Raras, asking officers to check on her.

When police arrived at Raras' home in the 6000 block of Meadowfield Court, they found a smashed front porch window -- where the killer, or killers, likely entered, police said.

It appears that window was not connected to the home's alarm system, which went off when officers entered through the front door, police sources say.

The killer passed up entering through a sliding glass door that faces isolated woods. Police did not say whether that door is wired to the alarm system.

Once inside, officers found that Raras had been stabbed multiple times and her throat was cut, police said.

Outside the home that night, police found a large knife -- a machete, sources said. But that knife might not have been the murder weapon, the sources said.

Police cadets and detectives have searched the house, yard and woods looking for more evidence.

A videocassette recorder missing from Raras' home makes the case more of a mystery. Police do not know when or why the VCR was removed. Some police sources speculated that the VCR might have been stolen during a botched burglary that led to Raras' death, or taken to throw police off the path of the killer.

In the hours after the slaying, sources said, police focused their attention on Raras' estranged husband. The couple were having marital problems, and Raras had filed for a restraining order against her husband, Lorenzo D. Raras, 33.

She was also fighting over the custody of her child, who spent this past weekend with Lorenzo Raras and his parents in Carney. The boy is now with the father and the father's parents.

Raras was questioned Monday by police, who also searched his home and car. He declined several attempts to be interviewed.

"For us to have questioned the husband is appropriate," Livesay said.

Friends and relatives of Sara Raras said they will hold a vigil or memorial service sometime soon.

Pub Date: 11/19/98

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