Frederick man found dead in alley near Baltimore hotel

Police treat case as 'suspicious' after cause of head injury cannot be determined

February 24, 2010|By Justin Fenton | justin.fenton@baltsun.com

The death of a 24-year-old Frederick man at a downtown hotel early Wednesday had city homicide investigators stumped.

Police initially reported that the man had been the victim of a homicide, but within hours, they said the death was being treated as "suspicious." Few answers emerged as the day progressed, and an autopsy by the state medical examiner's office offered little additional insight.

The victim was visiting Baltimore to celebrate a birthday with two other men from Frederick, according to Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department's chief spokesman. About 2 a.m., they returned to their room at the Comfort Inn & Suites at 8 E. Pleasant St., between St. Paul and Charles streets.

The man wanted to go out and continue partying, according to Guglielmi. Shortly after 3:30 a.m., his friends went looking for him and found his body in an alley, Lovegrove Street, at the side of the hotel.

Two city garbage collectors encountered the men, who were described as "extremely intoxicated," trying to render first aid, and the garbage collectors called police.

The victim's friends were cooperating with police, and detectives were able to rule out robbery as a motive, as the victim was in possession of his wallet.

An autopsy, completed Wednesday afternoon, found that the cause of death was a head injury, but the medical examiner ruled that it could not be determined without additional information whether it was an accident or result of a homicide.

There was a time when Guglielmi said police believed the man may have fallen from a window or balcony, but that was later dismissed. It remained a possibility that he fell or tripped while walking in the alley, or that he got in a fight. Police were reviewing camera footage in hopes of generating leads.

"Right now, we are just trying to figure out what happened. We are not ruling anything out," Guglielmi said.

Police have not yet released the victim's name, pending notification of relatives.

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