Police finish search for remains in O.C.

No more bodies found

lab tests expected to take a week

mother held without bail

August 02, 2007|By Chris Guy and Gadi Dechter | Chris Guy and Gadi Dechter,Sun reporters

OCEAN CITY -- Police wrapped up their three-day search yesterday at the house where four tiny bodies were found but said it might be a week or more before they receive a report on the remains from the state medical examiner's office.

Forensics experts at the Baltimore lab who are studying the remains, including three that police say are mostly bones, need more time, police officials said.

"We were told that the medical examiner's office is consulting with other experts," said police spokesman Pfc. Barry Neeb. "We were told not to expect any kind of report until next week at least."

No more human remains were found by investigators who spent more than three hours yesterday searching the ill-kept two-story bungalow owned by Christy L. Freeman, 37, who owns a cab company called Classic Taxi.

Freeman is accused of causing her 26-week-old fetus to be stillborn and faces a first-degree murder charge in the death. Police found the body Friday in her second-floor apartment.

Police allege that Freeman, who is being held without bail, wrapped the stillborn baby in a blanket and hid it - along with a placenta and the remains of three others - in plastic bags she stowed in a trunk in her bedroom, under a bathroom sink and in a recreational vehicle parked in the driveway.

Investigators expect the medical examiner to determine whether all four sets of remains are genetically related to Freeman as well as the ages of the three other preterm babies.

Freeman told a judge that she is eager to clear her name.

Yesterday, a city police forensics team entered Freeman's house, just off busy Coastal Highway about four blocks from the beach, with a list of items they wanted to retrieve before allowing the family access to the house. Freeman shares the home with Raymond W. Godman Jr. and their four children.

Godman, who helps Freeman operate the well-known taxi business that features classic 1960s cars, is not considered a suspect, police have said.

Several of the company's vintage cabs were vandalized Tuesday night as the gruesome details about the discovery of the remains became public.

Police said they had been in cell phone contact with Godman, who they said had moved around to avoid media scrutiny.

Neeb said he did not know whether the family would return to the second-floor Sunset Drive apartment but a 24-hour police guard would be on duty outside.

After nearly a week of yellow police crime scene tape and barricades along the one-block section of the street, police and fire vehicles were moved yesterday, including a mobile police command center that had been parked behind a 7-Eleven store since Monday.

Karen L'Hussier, who lives next door to Freeman's house, sat on her front porch yesterday watching as television crews packed up and police and public works crews cleaned up after what seemed to her like a siege.

With all the hoopla dying down, L'Hussier said she still has concerns about explaining it all to her 8-year-old son, David.

"I just hope I get some sense of normality back in my life," she said. "I feel depressed about all that's happened. I've known her as a neighbor for six years, and I wonder what happened there."

A two-day search of the house and an excavation that scraped 14 truckloads of topsoil from a vacant lot next door to Freeman's house yielded no more remains or other evidence.

Investigators found 81 cents, a marble and several animal bones. FBI officers who had supervised the search returned to their Baltimore office Tuesday.

"It sounds silly to say we found something like 81 cents or a marble," Neeb said. "But it clearly illustrates how extensive, how thorough this search has been.

"Today, the idea was to do one last search of the place and remove a list of specific items. This is a first for the county. It's an extremely complicated case."

Freeman has been cooperative and has talked several times with detectives at the Worcester County jail, according to Neeb.

Randy Freeman, the suspect's brother, told the Carroll County Times that he went to Ocean City with his family last weekend to "figure out what was going on" but had no contact with his sister, with whom he has been distant.

He described her as a straight-A student at Liberty High School in Carroll County and "the most prim and proper teenager you met in your life." He declined a request from The Sun for an interview.

Her lawyer, Burton Anderson, has refused to speak publicly about the case, as has Worcester County State's Attorney Joel J. Todd.

Anderson and Todd faced each other five years ago when a Pennsylvania couple was accused of killing and dismembering two Virginia tourists in an Ocean City condo. Anderson helped represent a former Navy SEAL, Benjamin Sifrit, who was convicted of one of the killings.

chris.guy@baltsun.com gadi.dechter@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Arin Gencer contributed to this article.

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