Eastern Shore police seek murder suspect

April 10, 2008|By Nick Madigan | Nick Madigan,Sun reporter

Dozens of police officers combed Eastern Shore communities and rural areas yesterday in search of 18-year-old Brandon Curtis, who they believe went to his mother's house and killed a man who may have been her former lover.

As the manhunt continued through the day, police obtained a warrant charging Curtis with murder.

Neighbors had seen him speeding away yesterday morning from his mother's home in rural Hebron in a burgundy Chevrolet Trailblazer, Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

Curtis had not been found by late afternoon. He and the murder weapon were being sought by officers from the Maryland State Police, the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office and the Salisbury Police Department.

"We believe he's still in the area," Shipley said. He described Curtis as 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds.

The victim, Booker Gelzer, 38, had arrived at the house during the night, Shipley said. Found lying in the kitchen about 10:30 a.m., Gelzer had at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His body was removed from the house about 4:15 p.m. while crime-scene technicians remained to examine evidence. By late yesterday, no motive had been determined for the killing.

Curtis no longer lives in the house on Old Railroad Road and was believed to be living elsewhere in Wicomico County, police said.

His mother's house is across the street from Westside Intermediate School, which police searched after Gelzer's body was discovered. The school was locked down for about two hours as a safety precaution, although police said they did not believe students or staff members at the school were in danger.

nick.madigan@baltsun.com

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