Woman may have unwittingly helped hide body

Mother says half-sister was helping return car

June 26, 2007|By Sharahn Boykin and Andrea F. Siegel | Sharahn Boykin and Andrea F. Siegel,Sun reporters

The half-sister of a Glen Burnie man whose body was found stabbed and beaten in a burning car might have unwittingly helped dispose of his body, their mother said yesterday.

Kim Louden was in her van following the two men who have been accused of murdering Phillip Calvin Airey Jr., 36, early Tuesday morning - thinking they were returning her brother's car to him, Martha Airey said. What Louden didn't know, her mother said, was that his bloody body was in the trunk of his burgundy Geo Prizm.

Michael Paul Martin, 28, of Glen Burnie, Robert Edward Speake, 18, of Brooklyn and the Prizm's driver, Airey's estranged wife, Tracey Airey, then told Louden that her brother's car broke down and they had to leave it on a highway ramp in Linthicum, Martha Airey said.

Louden and Tracey Airey are not charged. Maryland State Police spokesman Sgt. Arthur Betts said investigators are looking into what roles, if any, the women might have played.

Yesterday, a District Court judge in Baltimore ordered the two men held without bail on first-degree murder and related charges in Airey's death.

"I want them to pay for what they did to my son, and I want them to exonerate my daughter. Anyone who knows Kim knows she didn't do it," Martha Airey said.

Martin is on probation until September 2008 for a March 2007 conviction for second-degree assault and drug possession in Baltimore, according to court records.

Betts said investigators suspect that one or both men returned to the Geo Prizm, which had been parked for at least a day on the ramp from southbound Route 295 onto West Nursery Road in Linthicum, and set it ablaze early Wednesday evening.

Firefighters discovered Airey's body in the trunk, police said.

Martin was dating Tracey Airey, Betts said.

According to court documents, Phillip Airey was placed on 18 months' probation last August for misdemeanor assault on his wife, and was under a court order not to have contact with her.

The charging documents describe a series of events that started with Tracey and Phillip Airey meeting at Thumpers bar near her home late June 18 and ending with Martin's arrest Thursday and Speake's on Sunday.

Charging documents say that after leaving the bar, Phillip Airey went to Tracey Airey's home in the 4800 block of Pennington Ave. Tracey Airey told police she saw Martin and Speakes - who police said may be step- or half-brothers - beat him there, charging documents allege.

In the charging papers, police said Martin acknowledged that he and Airey got into a fistfight but said that Airey was still alive when he left. When he returned about an hour later, Speake told him that he had "`lost control,' referring to killing the victim," the charging documents allege.

Martin told police that he helped dispose of Airey's body, which was found wrapped in a sleeping bag with a plastic bag over his head, the charging documents allege.

Louden, who lives with her mother, sobbed yesterday throughout a reporter's visit. She deferred to her mother, who gave the following account:

Louden had spent the evening of June 18 baby-sitting Tracey Airey's children. Tracey Airey, after coming home from the bar, suggested a stressed-out Louden go for a drive, then come back.

When Louden returned, Tracey Airey said Phillip Airey "came there and hit her and left" on foot. There was a mark on Tracey Airey's face.

Phillip Airey wanted his car, so they needed to bring it to him. They left in the two vehicles.

After abandoning Phillip Airey's car on the grassy side of the ramp, Louden said, the men and Tracey Airey got into her van.

They acted as though nothing had happened, Martha Airey said.

sharahn.boykin@baltsun.com andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Nia-Malika Henderson contributed to this article.

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