2 found in car were shot

Bodies discovered bound, gagged in trunk during a traffic stop on I-95

Many questions unanswered

Two suspects refusing to cooperate, police say

November 08, 2003|By Lane Harvey Brown and Amanda Angel | Lane Harvey Brown and Amanda Angel,SUN STAFF

Two people found in the trunk of a car stopped on Interstate 95 in Cecil County on Thursday were killed by multiple gunshot wounds, state police said yesterday.

The driver of the car, James Moore, 39, of Andrews, S.C., and the passenger, Porsha L. Harper, 36, of Greensboro, N.C., were being held without bond in the Cecil County Detention Center last night, each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, said Maj. Greg Shipley, state police spokesman.

An autopsy was performed yesterday on the victims, Shipley said.

He described the victims, who were discovered bound and gagged and wrapped in blankets and plastic, as an African-American male in his 20s, 5 feet 4 inches tall and 190 pounds; and an African-American woman in her 20s, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 125 pounds.

No identification was found on the bodies, Shipley said.

Many questions remained unanswered yesterday, he said, including when victims were killed, where the driver and passenger were heading and where they came from.

Shipley said that Moore and Harper appeared to be friends.

He said that the suspects were not cooperating with police.

According to the statement of probable cause, Moore, of the 100 block of Howell St. in Andrews, was driving a blue four-door Dodge Intrepid northbound on I-95 near Elkton about 10:25 a.m. when troopers pulled the car over for speeding.

During the stop, Tfc. J.D. Cameron of the JFK barracks noticed the car was sitting low to the ground, suggesting significant weight in the trunk, the statement said.

The driver initially identified himself as James Evans, the statement said.

Harper, the passenger, of the 3100 block of Utah Place in Greensboro, was extremely nervous, her hands visibly shaking when she produced an identification card, the statement said, and neither suspect had a driver's license.

The car is registered to Barbara A. Hayes of the first block of Horton Ave. in New Rochelle, N.Y., the statement said.

The bodies were discovered after a second trooper on the scene noticed a large amount of clothing in the back seat and asked Harper whether the trunk also contained clothes and luggage, the statement said.

Harper got out of the car and opened the trunk with a set of keys, the statement said.

The statement said Cameron searched Moore at the scene and found $1,000 in the suspect's left front pants pocket.

A subsequent search at the barracks found Moore had more than $2,000 in his pockets, some of which "had suspected blood evidence on them," the statement said.

Shipley said yesterday that no weapon was found in the car, but investigators declined to elaborate further on what was recovered.

Georgetown County Assistant Sheriff Carter Weaver in South Carolina said Moore had no criminal record there.

Harper lived most recently in an apartment complex in northeast Greensboro. Guilford County court records show minor traffic violations and charges in April of disorderly conduct and making threatening phone calls to Charmin Shorter of the same address. The matter was dismissed, records show.

Shorter, contacted yesterday, said the two were roommates. "This is a shock and surprise to me," she said, and declined to comment further.

But Harper's grandmother, Geneva Harper, of Denver, said that her granddaughter was a loving person who called her regularly. "She is a nice person. She loves God. I just bet you she got in with the wrong people," Geneva Harper said.

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