Pa. fugitive found fatally shot in state park in Howard County

3-day hunt for armed man ends in apparent suicide

August 30, 2005|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

An intensive three-day manhunt for an armed Pennsylvania fugitive ended early yesterday when his body was found in a small dirt parking area of Patapsco Valley State Park in Howard County - an apparent suicide, according to state police at the Westminster barracks.

Two men en route to work discovered the body just before 6:30 a.m. along Daniels Road off Old Frederick Road, south of Marriottsville, said Greg Shipley, a Maryland State Police spokesman.

The body was identified as that of Michael Kenneth Voland Sr., 45, of Hanover. Police said there was a gunshot wound to the head and that a .44-caliber Ruger carbine rifle was found nearby.

Voland reportedly claimed in a call to his wife during the manhunt that he would not be taken alive and that he was under the influence of drugs, terminally ill and despondent, police said. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy, Shipley said.

State police also are investigating whether Voland received assistance from friends and contacts, Shipley said. Maj. Jack Simpson, the state police region commander, said Voland had relatives and friends throughout the region.

Voland had lived in Maryland and had been charged several times with assault, police said. During an incident in March 2001, he barricaded himself inside his home in the 1300 block of Baust Church Road in Union Bridge for about 7 1/2 hours after a dispute with his wife, staying inside with his son, then age 4, before surrendering peacefully.

With a criminal history and a reputation as a skilled hunter, Voland was called armed and extremely dangerous, and police were advised to use extreme caution.

The incident began about 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Hanover, when Voland fled Pennsylvania police who were attempting to confiscate his weapons in connection with a protective order obtained by his wife.

After nearly striking one trooper there, Voland sped away in his 1987 Chevrolet truck into Maryland and down Route 97 to the South Carroll community of Berrett, where he got bogged down in a farm field and fled on foot.

Simpson said Voland apparently banged on the door of a residence and on the locked door of a church in South Carroll Thursday night, asking to use a telephone. He was denied access - probably because of the rifle slung over his shoulder, police theorized. There was no indication that he bothered anyone else, Simpson said.

Police said a .22-caliber revolver was found near where his truck was abandoned.

During the chase in Maryland, Voland racked up reckless-endangerment and assault charges, as well as traffic offenses, police said. He attempted to ram a Pennsylvania State Police cruiser and, after his truck broke down, fired several shots into the air, police said.

State police set up a perimeter and called in backup for what was to become a three-day search that ultimately centered on the Baltimore County community of Granite. A campsite was found there, and Voland reportedly knew the woods throughout Patapsco State Park in Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties, police said.

An intensive search was planned in that area yesterday.

"The trackers felt they were very close behind him. He knew the police were behind him," Shipley said. "He knew the park very, very well."

Sunday evening, a caller reported seeing someone walking on the shoulder of a road, close to where the body was eventually found, police said.

Since Thursday night, about 80 police officers - including the Department of Natural Resources, Maryland and Pennsylvania state police and Baltimore County and Howard County police - have searched areas of the park, with helicopters, dogs, armored vehicles and SWAT teams.

State Police Sgt. George D. Frazier, the duty officer in Westminster yesterday morning, was fielding calls from concerned citizens as news of Voland's death was verified. He said there had been dozens of calls to the barracks during the weekend.

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