Man waives bail hearing in wife's death

Strangling determined to be cause of death

February 09, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Mount Airy man charged with murdering his wife -- whose body was abandoned in a car at Baltimore-Washington International Airport -- waived a bail hearing yesterday in Frederick County District Court, authorities said.

Donald Wayne Holt, 44, of the 1000 block of Meadowgreen Drive in the Twin Ridge subdivision, was arrested at 7: 45 a.m. Sunday on charges of first- and second-degree murder and manslaughter. He was being held at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center, officials said.

Hours earlier Sunday, the body of Nancy Adams Holt, 43, the mother of three young children, was found on the rear floor of her car in a satellite parking lot at the airport, police said. She was last seen Jan. 18.

State medical examiners concluded yesterday that the victim was strangled, said Capt. Gregory M. Shipley, a state police spokesman.

News of the woman's death and her husband's arrest filtered quietly yesterday through Mount Airy, a town of nearly 6,000 that straddles the Frederick County-Carroll County border.

Steve Spear, who was on his way to get a milkshake on South Main Street after romping with his young son in a park, said he moved from Ellicott City in October to get away from serious crime.

"I was very surprised to hear the husband had been charged," he said. "I didn't know them, but it's still sad. You don't expect this in such a quiet and friendly town."

Herb Lee, co-owner of the Train Depot on South Main Street, appeared stunned when told that Donald Holt had been charged.

"Wow, I didn't know," he said. "Of course, I knew she was missing, but you don't think this [kind of violent crime] will happen in Mount Airy. It's frightening."

Those who knew the Holts said the couple did not appear to have any serious problems and were caring and churchgoing parents of three children, twins Robert and Jennifer, 11, and Laura, 9.

"They have been wonderful neighbors to my parents," said a woman who asked not to be identified.

"We had no clue this would happen here. Nancy's mom was wonderful, too, coming after school to watch the children," the woman said as she stood in a driveway adjacent to the Holts' two-story brick and siding house with a two-car garage.

Nancy Holt was reported missing Jan. 20, after police received a call from an out-of-state friend who asked that they check on her. When troopers went to the home, Donald Holt told them his wife was supposed to go shopping and then to work on Jan. 18, police said.

Her co-workers at Health Care Finance Administration in Woodlawn told police that she never arrived there that day.

As many as 15 state police investigators worked around the clock looking for clues to her whereabouts, Shipley said.

Apparently, when her car was not found despite a nationwide search and her credit card was not being used, investigators began looking at Donald Holt more closely.

Pub Date: 2/09/99

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