Body found in Aberdeen remains unidentified

Police have few leads on homicide victim

October 26, 2003|By Amanda Angel | Amanda Angel,SUN STAFF

The monthlong effort to identify the woman found dead near Interstate 95 in Aberdeen has turned up no names, Harford County authorities said.

On Sept. 14, a motorist discovered a body dumped 20 feet from the side of Stepney Road, less than a mile north of I-95. The woman had suffered blunt trauma to her face and stab wounds in her neck, both of which contributed to her death, police say.

The Harford County Sheriff's Office has been releasing information regarding the investigation, but none of it has led to identifying the woman, described as white, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 110 pounds, age 25 to 30, with brown hair, and with several tattoos and a scar on her abdomen.

She was wearing Mudd bluejeans and black boots when she was found. Detective Thomas Bradley, who leads the investigation, says he believes that someone is looking for her.

"We are going to go in every direction until we can narrow the focus down," he said of the investigation.

But it is difficult to narrow the focus without the victim's name or an idea of where she lived. The victim's fingerprints did not match any of those in the FBI database, and results from DNA testing will not be back from the Maryland State Police Crime Lab for several months.

The investigation consists mainly of posting the woman's picture and description in as many places as possible and hoping someone will recognize her face.

Meanwhile, the National Crime Investigation Center database compares the woman's description to missing persons from around the country and tries to match them.

Reports don't match

Bradley said that he receives dozens of missing persons reports daily from the database but that few resemble the woman closely enough to warrant further investigation.

Bradley is working with Kylen Johnson at the Doe Network, a volunteer organization dedicated to locating missing persons. Johnson, who is the Maryland-area director, looks through missing persons reports from around the country - and sometimes the world - to help police solve cases.

The woman found in Aberdeen is one of the "hot cases" on the organization's Web site, www.doenetwork.org. Johnson, who has been at the Doe Network for more than two years, has her own ideas on the case.

"I think she may have been traveling with a carnival or living a drifter lifestyle, on the fringes of the law," she said.

Dolphin ring

Johnson mentioned that the small dolphin ring found on the victim is a common trinket among carnival workers.

Information about the case, and pictures of the victim and her tattoos are posted on the Doe Network's Web site and the Harford County Sheriff's Office's Web site at www.harfordsheriff.org/PublicAlert.htm.

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