City man charged in death of 7-year-old

He is accused of taking boy from aunt's home in 1992

December 25, 2003|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A 33-year-old Baltimore man was charged yesterday with first-degree murder in the kidnapping and death of a 7-year-old boy more than a decade ago, police said.

Keith M. Garrett, who was being held in a state prison on a violation of probation conviction, was arrested Tuesday and questioned by detectives. He was charged yesterday at the Central Booking and Intake Center. Garrett is accused of kidnapping 7-year-old Timothy Washington from his aunt's home in the 1000 block of Orleans St. on Sept. 11, 1992.

Timothy's body has not been found.

At the time of the abduction, police focused on Garrett and accused him of taking Timothy and the boy's 4-year-old half-sister, Kecia, from their aunt, who was watching the children. Garrett is Kecia's father but is not related to Timothy.

A month later, Garrett was indicted on charges of kidnapping Timothy and extortion after police said he threatened to harm the boy if he was not granted custody of Kecia by his daughter's mother. He pleaded guilty to extortion in 1993.

In June last year, Detective Tyrone Francis - a veteran investigator in the department's cold-case unit who had worked in the child abuse unit of the department in 1992 - took over the investigation because he remembered the abduction. He tracked down witnesses, he said, and slowly built a case.

According to court records, Garrett visited the aunt's apartment to pick up Kecia that September day 11 years ago.

He also took Timothy, court records show, and brought both children to his house in the 700 block of Edgewood St.

He left Kecia at his house and was seen by a witness walking with Timothy toward Leakin Park, court records show. Timothy has not been seen since.

A short time later, a witness watched Garrett leave his house alone with a duffel bag and walk toward the park, court documents show. Garret emerged from the woods about an hour later, according to the records.

Garrett was being held at a state prison for violating his probation in an unrelated assault case at the time of his arrest, court records show.

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