Detectives seek answers in beating death of man at historic Fells Point inn

No motive or suspect in killing of convention-goer

July 09, 1999|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police released photographs yesterday of a slain New Jersey conventioneer and the truck he had been driving in hopes of finding more clues to the man's beating death last week in a historic Fells Point inn.

Investigators said they do not have a motive or suspect in the June 30 killing of Christopher William Jones, who worked for a pharmaceutical company and was attending seminars at the Baltimore Convention Center.

On Friday, police found the 37-year-old victim's dark blue 1999 Yukon GMC truck, which had been missing from the Admiral Fell Inn parking lot.

Police would not disclose where the truck was. "It is very important to their investigation that they don't release that right now," said Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes, a city police spokeswoman.

But investigators are urging anyone who might have seen the truck or Jones the day he was found dead to call detectives. "Someone who may have seen him that night may have some idea what happened to him," Cook-Hayes said.

The killing in one of the city's premier historic districts unnerved city officials, who recently expanded the convention center and are trying to attract as many as eight new hotels to serve conventioneers and tourists.

Jones' killing was the first this year in Fells Point, home to taverns, coffeehouses, antiques shops and historic brick homes built for sea captains. The Admiral Fell Inn was built in the late 1700s.

Police say they do not believe the attack on Jones was random, but they have offered few details of the slaying. He was killed by blunt-force trauma, but the weapon has not been disclosed. Investigators have discounted robbery as a motive and said there were no signs of forced entry to his room.

A hotel manager found the body during the evening, hours after the victim's friends noted he had not shown up for several meetings and appointments on June 30.

Jones lived in Metuchen, an upper-middle-class area in northern New Jersey that is home to several high-tech companies. He was a project manager for the New York-based Pfizer Inc., one of the world's largest drug companies, which is best known for making the anti-impotence drug Viagra.

He was in Baltimore attending meetings of the Drug Information Association, a nonprofit scientific organization with about 20,000 members.

Company officials have declined to comment beyond confirming that Jones was an employee.

Jones had lived several years ago in an apartment in Chevy Chase, a Washington suburb. His roommate in Metuchen, Gregory Snider, could not be reached to comment.

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