Missing Carroll man killed

Renovator, father of three found in city rowhouse

Police arrest suspect

November 30, 2001|By Del Quentin Wilber and Mary Gail Hare | Del Quentin Wilber and Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

A 47-year-old Carroll County man was found dead yesterday afternoon - apparently robbed and killed - in the basement of a house he had been renovating in West Baltimore.

Police were interviewing a suspect caught driving the victim's sport utility vehicle last night in East Baltimore.

The victim was tentatively identified as Michael P. Roberts of the 7600 block of Ridge Road in Marriottsville, who was last seen leaving home Monday morning and was reported missing Tuesday, police said. Investigators were awaiting confirmation and a cause of death from the state medical examiner's office.

The body was discovered just before 1 p.m. yesterday by state troopers in the basement of the red-brick rowhouse in the 600 block of Linnard St., police said.

About 8:30 last night, police spotted a man parking Roberts' missing Ford Explorer in the 600 block of N. Central Ave. and arrested the 20-year-old driver. Police had not released the identity of the driver last night or filed charges. The vehicle was taken to police headquarters.

Roberts' family reported him missing about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to state police at the Westminster barracks, police said. Troopers were checking his last known movements when they arrived at the house yesterday.

They found an open door, walked inside and found the body of a man who appeared to be in his 40s. Police would not describe any injuries but said the death was a homicide. They said that investigators would return to the house today in search of clues.

In saying that robbery was the apparent motive, police noted that Roberts' sport utility vehicle, wallet, credit cards and cash were missing.

Reached at the family's Marriottsville home, Roberts' wife, Dawn, said police told her that they believe her husband was the man found in the house. She said police told her they were looking for the vehicle.

Roberts was co-owner of the house with Karen B. Brooks of Davidsonville in Anne Arundel County, land records show, and they were selling it through A.W. Happel Inc., a real estate company. They also were owners of a house in the 4100 block of Edmondson Ave., and Roberts had another in the 3500 block of Edmondson Ave., according to the records.

Neighbors said the couple have three children and described Michael Roberts as a quiet man who cared for his family and kept his ranch-style house and large yard in good shape. "He kept his yard exceptionally well," said neighbor Rosalie Oursler.

Roberts moved with his family to Carroll County in 1990. He and his wife were the subject of a 1995 article in The Sun after they took in a 13-year-old nephew, Derek Roll, who had been homeless in Los Angeles. They wanted to enroll the teen-ager in school, but officials said the family did not have legal guardianship and refused to allow Derek to attend Sykesville Middle School.

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