Seventh anniversary of man's death renews family's quest for answers

Pasadena resident was found by side of road

how he died is mystery

March 26, 2000|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

Holidays and birthdays were once the most important dates to the Seipp family.

But now the Seipps regard March 26 as the most significant day of the year.

This is the date, in 1993, when Paul LeRoy Seipp Jr. was found dead at age 33 on the side of Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard in Glen Burnie, a case that remains unsolved on the seventh anniversary of his death.

"We just keep hoping every year that someone will come forward with information," said Kim George, Seipp's older sister, who is coordinating the family's efforts to renew public interest in the 1993 case.

In what has become a family tradition, Seipp's relatives talk to reporters new to the area and regularly post fliers offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

But, for seven years, the family says March 26 has come like a bad dream -- offering no answers, no peace, no closure.

"It's hard to do this every year. You'd think it would get easier," George said. "But it doesn't."

Though Anne Arundel police have not been able to solve the case, George said, "I think there's someone out there who knows something. But there's nothing we can do except say, `Please help us.' "

Nine months after Seipp's body was found, police said a 36-year-old Glen Burnie man told them he was the driver of a truck that struck and killed Seipp.

But he recanted. And police could not prove that Seipp was killed in a hit-and-run accident.

"There's no physical evidence to link anything or anyone -- a vehicle or a person -- to his death," said Officer Greg Russell, an accident reconstructionist for the county police.

Investigators were fairly sure that Seipp wasn't killed by a tractor-trailer, which the man who recanted said he was driving.

The autopsy showed Seipp died from severe head trauma but had no other significant injuries that are common when a pedestrian is hit by a car or truck, Russell said.

No skid marks or paint chips were found at the scene -- evidence that is also common in accidents, Russell said.

It's possible that Seipp was killed in another location or pushed from a moving car, but police have no witnesses to such an incident, Russell said.

The only witnesses in the case saw a man who fit Seipp's description walking on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, police said.

"Aside from someone coming forward, there's nothing to go on," said Russell.

Police acknowledge that there was discussion between traffic and homicide investigators about how Seipp died. But, Russell said, "Ultimately, the problem is lack of evidence.

"I know the family wants closure; I understand that," he said.

The three-year statute of limitations has run out on prosecuting a hit-and-run case, but the family could seek civil redress. A homicide has no statute of limitations.

Seipp's relatives say they only want to know what happened to the son and brother they loved. "We miss him," said George.

Seipp, who lived in Pasadena, taught ballroom dancing with his younger sister and played drums in a band with his father. The night he was killed, he and his father had played at the Glen Burnie Moose Lodge, his sister said.

"He was always musical," said his mother, Lillian Seipp. "Even when he was a little boy, he was always tapping his fingers like a drummer."

Every holiday, the family sets a place for him at dinner, his mother said. "He had a special place," she said. "He always will."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at 410-222-8610.

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