2 bodies found in trunk on I-95

Troopers also discover fake currency, pirated CDs, DVDs in separate incident

November 07, 2003|By Laura Barnhardt and Amanda Angel | Laura Barnhardt and Amanda Angel,SUN STAFF

State police are investigating two bizarre incidents along Interstate 95 in northeastern Maryland that yielded hundreds of pirated compact discs and DVDs, counterfeit money and two bodies bound and gagged in the trunk of a car.

The bodies were found during a late morning traffic stop near Elkton in Cecil County, as a trooper pulled over a northbound Dodge Intrepid for unsafe lane changing and speeding at 74 mph, over the limit of 65, said Maj. Greg Shipley, state police spokesman.

The trooper, a member of the Interstate Criminal Enforcement team, became suspicious because the driver did not have a license. After questioning the driver and a female passenger, the trooper asked for the drivers consent to search the car, which had New York license plates, police said.

Opening the trunk, troopers found the two bodies believed to be adults beneath plastic and blankets, Shipley said. The bodies had not decomposed.

State Police Superintendent Edward T. Norris, who came to the scene of the traffic stop, said the driver simply put his hands behind his back after troopers opened the trunk. Norris, who has stressed enforcement efforts along I-95, praised the work of the team.

State police said the bodies had not been identified last night, and were obtaining a search warrant before examining the trunk more closely, Shipley said. The warrant should be available this morning, he said.

Both the driver and passenger of the Intrepid were arrested. Police said that the driver had at least a dozen aliases, and they were trying to confirm the identity of both suspects through fingerprints.

They are being held at the Kennedy Highway barracks while awaiting charges, Shipley said last night.

About the same time as the traffic stop, troopers responding to a fatal accident near the Susquehanna River uncovered more than 1,700 pirated CDs and DVDs and $10,000 in counterfeit money hidden in two pairs of sneakers.

The accident occurred when a rear axle on a 1987 Chevrolet Astro van malfunctioned, causing the vehicle to spin out of control and block the northbound left lane, said Sgt. Thornnie Rouse, a state police spokesman.

The driver of a 2001 Toyota Camry was able to slow down to avoid the van, but then was hit by a 1984 Chevy pickup truck.

Killed in the accident was a female passenger in the pickup truck, whose name was not released. The trucks driver, who also was not identified, and John Ballard, 76, a passenger in the Camry, were flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and reported in critical and serious condition, respectively, Rouse said. The Camrys driver, Phoebe Ballard, 74, was taken by ambulance to Harford Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

Troopers found the 1,400 CDs and 300 DVDs in the van, and the money stuffed inside two boxes of sneakers, Rouse said.

The two men in the van were arrested and are being held at the JFK Highway barracks, awaiting charges. State police said they were trying to confirm their identities.

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