No leads in abduction, killing of Harford County man, 29

Family had paid $10,000 in ransom

he was later found shot

November 29, 2005|By LAURA BARNHARDT | LAURA BARNHARDT,SUN REPORTER

A week after a Harford County man was kidnapped, only to be found dead even though his relatives paid thousands of dollars in ransom, investigators have no solid leads in the case, police said yesterday.

Jeryl Anthony Singleterry, 29, of Edgewood was unemployed and had no criminal record, police said. Police have no evidence that Singleterry was involved in drugs or anything else illegal, said Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman.

"He's a victim," Toohey said, "not a suspect."

Police said that kidnapping for ransom is a rare crime and that killing after a kidnapping is even more unusual.

"I can't remember anything like this happening," Toohey said. "It's a particularly horrible crime."

Singleterry was last seen driving away from his grandmother's home in Baltimore on Nov. 21. About an hour later, he called relatives, saying he had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom, police said.

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Singleterry and a man who might have been his kidnapper called several times, police said. His family dropped off more than $10,000 at locations in southeastern Baltimore county, according to police, who have not disclosed the locations.

When Singleterry did not return home, relatives called police Tuesday afternoon.

Police began searching for Singleterry that afternoon and asked media outlets to broadcast a description of him and his green Chrysler Town & Country minivan. A Rosedale resident saw one of the news reports, remembered seeing a minivan that fit the description in his Holland Hills neighborhood and called police early Wednesday.

Officers opened the van and found a body, later identified as that of Singleterry. He had been shot several times, police said.

Police said they don't know of a motive for the crime.

Toohey said police advise anyone who receives a demand for a ransom to immediately call authorities.

Although statistics were not immediately available, city and county police said kidnapping of adults and kidnapping for ransom are uncommon.

In Baltimore, police are investigating the fatal shooting of Jermaine Fleming, 23, whose body was found Nov. 2 in a wooded area near Leakin Park, three days after his father paid a ransom for his son's return. Police suspect the case is drug-related, said Matt Jablow, a city police spokesman.

Jablow and Toohey said police have not found a connection between Fleming's and Singleterry's abductions.

laura.barnhardt@baltsun.com

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