Body discovered in rowhouse thought to be missing woman

Mother had filed report on ex-Morgan student

June 29, 2000|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

The woman whose body was discovered Tuesday afternoon inside a Northeast Baltimore rowhouse is believed to be a former Morgan State University student from Prince George's County, police and relatives said yesterday.

Veleka A. Diggs, 21, had been reported missing June 16 by her mother in Temple Hills.

Police said they were checking fingerprints to confirm the identity of the body, but they said they believe it to be that of Diggs. She was found inside a folded sofa bed in a house near Morgan's campus.

Detectives said Diggs had been bludgeoned and that her family's green 1999 Mazda 626 is missing. Police also were looking to question her roommate.

"She was a loving person," said Diggs' aunt, Naomi Davis, 54. "She was a lovely, personable person. I can't imagine that someone so full of life would be lost."

Davis said family members do not know much about what happened. "We don't have any details," she said.

The victim's mother, Gladys Loretta Diggs, who owns the car, filed a missing-persons report with Prince George's County police after they hadn't heard from Diggs for a few days. On Tuesday, relatives drove to Baltimore and flagged down a police officer when they got close to the two-story rowhouse in the 1600 block of Northgate Road.

The officer entered the second-floor apartment and found the body inside the sofa-bed, police said.

About two weeks ago, neghbors reported a commotion outside the house during which glass bottles were shattered in the street. They reported that a man drove off and did not return. They complained that the responding officer never got out of his car.

Police said residents last saw the missing Mazda 626 parked in front of the house Sunday.

Diggs graduated from Potomac High School in Prince George's three years ago and entered the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. She transferred to Morgan in the spring of last year, said Morgan spokesman Wiley Hall.

An education major, Diggs finished her sophomore year, taking classes through last summer, and registered for elementary education classes for the fall semester but canceled before attending classes, Hall said.

Relatives said yesterday that they do not know why Diggs dropped out of college.

Funeral arrangements were not complete yesterday, and police said they knew of no motive or suspects in the case.

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