Body found in Woodlawn by child on way to school

Circumstances of death a mystery, police say

May 13, 1999|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

A decomposing body near a playground at a Woodlawn apartment complex was found by a child on his way to school, but the circumstances around the death remained a mystery, police said.

The body was reported about 10 a.m. when Lori Harcum, a resident of Belmont Park Apartments in the 1900 block of Richglen Drive, called 911.

"One of the kids ran out and told me about it," Harcum said yesterday.

She went outside to a wooded area near her apartment and looked down a 20-foot embankment, where she could see a body wrapped in a blanket, she said.

"I knew what it was, but I didn't want to believe it," Harcum said.

Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey said the body was so decomposed that detectives could not determine race, age, manner of death or gender.

"We're talking weeks or months" since death, Toohey said.

The body was naked, Toohey said, and was face-down about halfway down the embankment. Detectives found no identification, he said.

The body was taken to the state medical examiner for an autopsy, Toohey said, and results were expected this week.

The discovery stunned residents of Belmont Park, a cluster of three-story brick buildings that are home to many families with young children.

"I heard the commotion," said resident Linda Leon as she held her 1-year-old daughter, Nygela.

Leon said the apartment is generally quiet. Several mothers who lived in the apartment complex, but declined to give their names, expressed concern that the body was found so close to the playground.

Pub Date: 5/13/99

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