Body found in Harford is identified

Aberdeen woman, 25, was reported missing in June

November 11, 2006|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,sun reporter

State police have identified a body found in a Harford County field as a 25-year-old Aberdeen woman who had been missing since June.

The body of Jennifer Lynn Blankenship, a resident of the first block of Spesutia Road, was found in September in a secluded location near Aberdeen where three other bodies turned up in recent months.

Investigators said in August that they believed the bodies were linked and that a suspect was in custody. Last week, Charles Eugene Burns was charged in the killing of an Elkton woman whose body was found near train tracks.

Burns, 35, also faces charges of assaulting women, choking at least one to the point where she told police she believed she would die.

The body of Blankenship, whose parents said she struggled with drug problems and who had a 2003 conviction for prostitution, was found Sept. 15 by a man walking his dog in a field near train tracks on Boyer Road, south of Aberdeen. A second body was later discovered, though it has not been identified.

Blankenship was last seen June 4 and was reported missing June 13.

Blankenship's mother and stepfather - Lucy and Ted Dawson - said yesterday that she had been living in Baltimore but that they took her back to the family home in Aberdeen because she was struggling with drug addiction. When she disappeared, they thought it might have been the result of an overdose.

Burns has not been charged in the deaths of the three other women. His public defender, Lloyd G. Merriam, has asked Harford Circuit Judge Stephen M. Waldron to dismiss the charges based on statements by State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly in which he indicated that the killings were linked.

Merriam has also asked Waldron to unseal records detailing abuse Burns suffered as a child, which legal experts said could be used as a mitigating factor in his case.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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