Four Dead In Towson Hotel

Bodies Of 3 Adults And A Teenage Girl - All Related - Are Found In 10th-floor Room

April 21, 2009|By Nick Madigan and Brent Jones | Nick Madigan and Brent Jones, and

Four bodies were found Monday behind the locked door of a Towson hotel room, and detectives were working to unravel the circumstances leading to the grisly discovery.

The bodies of a man, two women and a teenage girl were found in a 10th-floor room at the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel near the Towson Town Center mall, Baltimore County police said. The victims' names were not released, but police said they were related and were not from this area.

A police spokesman said that there was no threat to the public.

Police did not say how the victims died - or whether there were any signs of injuries. But Baltimore County police spokesman Cpl. Michael Hill said, "It's fair to say they did not die of natural causes."

FOR THE RECORD - Goucher College President Sanford J. Ungar's last name was misspelled in an article in Tuesday's editions on the discovery of four bodies at a hotel near the school's campus. The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

The discovery came two days after five members of a Frederick County family were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.

At the Towson Sheraton, a housekeeper attempted to enter the room about 3 p.m. but could not get through the locked door, and alerted hotel staff, said Bill Toohey, another county police spokesman. The room's occupants had failed to check out as scheduled, Hill said.

He wasn't sure whether all four had been hotel guests. "We are trying to confirm who they are," Hill said.

A Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle with New York tags was towed with a police escort Monday evening from a hotel parking lot.

A county forensics team was working in the room Monday.

Guests were cleared from the hotel's 10th floor. The bodies were still in the room Monday night.

The 280-room hotel on Dulaney Valley Road just inside the Baltimore Beltway is near Goucher College. No students live at the hotel, and police had not contacted the college, Goucher President Sanford Unger said.

K.C. Kavanagh, a spokeswoman for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, said Sheraton Baltimore North is a franchise property owned by GF Hotels.

"This is just a terrible tragedy, and our team is terribly saddened by this event," Kavanagh said.

Officials for the Philadelphia-based company that owns the hotel could not be reached for comment.

On Saturday, the bodies of a man, his wife and their three young children were found in their home in the Frederick County community of Middletown. The father apparently killed the four others and then shot himself, according to authorities. Police say five handwritten notes were found at the scene, which police say seemed to indicate the father suffered from psychological problems.

At the Sheraton in Towson, many hotel guests and visitors were unaware of Monday's discovery. Ray Shettle of Westminster was not staying in the hotel but went to the bar for a drink. Shettle said he had heard about the multiple bodies in the hotel room.

"It's not strange anymore, not after this weekend. It's sad," Shettle said.

It was the second time in little more than a year that multiple bodies were found in an area hotel room.

In March 2008, three children were drowned in a bathtub in a 10th-floor room at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. The children's father, Mark Castillo of Montgomery County, was arrested and is awaiting trial on three counts of first-degree murder. Authorities say he killed his children, ages 6, 4 and 2, as revenge in a custody battle with his estranged wife.

Baltimore Sun reporters Arin Gencer and Frank D. Roylance and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

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