Stabbing of Woodlawn woman leaves police many questions

Motive, stolen rental car among loose ends in killing

November 12, 1999|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police were searching yesterday for a possible getaway car, suspects and a motive behind the fatal stabbing of a 55-year-old woman in her Woodlawn home Wednesday night.

Barbara J. Manns of the 7100 block of Fairbrook Road was lying on the living room floor with a butcher knife in her back and rope around her neck, according to her husband, who found her in their home at 7 p.m. Wednesday, said Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a county police spokeswoman.

The home was ransacked, and a back door was open. Police -- who were at the home until yesterday afternoon gathering evidence -- said they have to speak with Manns' husband, Joseph H. Manns, to determine if anything was stolen.

"It's too early in the investigation to make that determination," Warehime said.

No one else lived in the home, police said.

Joseph Manns suffered chest pains and was treated and released at Northwest Hospital Center Wednesday night. "At this point, he is not a suspect," Warehime said. Results of the autopsy should be available today.

Police said they are searching for the green Chevrolet Cavalier, with Maryland plates FSL 529, that Barbara Manns rented while her car was being repaired. That car was missing when police arrived.

The victim worked for at Ajilon, a Towson-based computer consulting company.

In the Manns' neighborhood, longtime residents were shaken by the circumstances of Wednesday's incident, in an area where speeding is considered a major issue. Many said they did not know much about the Manns, describing them as quiet people who kept to themselves.

"I'm scared," said Mary Hall, 62. "When my husband left this morning, he said it was OK because the police are out there. But they are not going to be here every time he has to go to work early."

Sun staff researcher Jean L. Packard contributed to this article.

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