2 found dead were fatally beaten

Couple were living in makeshift shack

March 26, 2002|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A man and woman found dead Saturday in a wooded area near Brooklyn were homeless, living together in a makeshift shack, and died of blunt-force trauma as long as several weeks ago, police said.

The bodies of Douglas H. Holquist, 53, and the woman - whose identity remained unknown yesterday - were discovered lying next to each other about 7 a.m. Saturday by Holquist's brother, Charles D. Holquist, police said.

Investigators said the woman's first name might be Brenda, and that she had several tattoos on her body, including the words "I love Frank" on her right shin, "Frank" on her upper left thigh and "Frank" on her right forearm.

FOR THE RECORD - In an article in the Maryland section yesterday about the death of a homeless couple in South Baltimore, The Sun incorrectly reported the last time family members saw Douglas H. Holquist alive. Family members last saw him in January. The article also incorrectly identified the brother who discovered the bodies of Mr. Holquist and a female companion who has not been identified. Doyle Holquist discovered the remains. The Sun regrets the errors.

Police Detective Darrell Townsend said he had no clues in the killing. The couple were found in Reed Bird Island Park, a wooded area just off the 3400 block of Potee St. on the edge of Brooklyn.

Holquist and the woman lived in the makeshift house - fashioned from a mattress and wood boards - surrounded by rusted bicycles, vodka bottles, pots filled with rainwater and jackets and shirts hanging on a clothesline.

Holquist's brother hadn't seen him in six months and went looking for him, Townsend said.

Townsend said the couple were probably killed about two months ago, but he was awaiting results of tests by an anthropologist. Newspapers dating from early February were littered around the camp.

Several homeless people live in the park, which homicide detectives visited yesterday looking for potential witnesses. Detectives said they would continue to visit the park and other areas where the homeless live in southern Baltimore to look for people who might know the couple and what might have happened to them.

Homeless advocates said they will begin canvassing the area to help police. Last year, extensive outreach to the homeless in southern Baltimore helped detectives arrest and charge three young men in the killings of three homeless men, who had been savagely beaten. The trials of those suspects are pending.

Anyone with information was urged to call Townsend at 410-396-2100.

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