Frederick man found dead in alley near Baltimore hotel

Police investigating whether 24-year-old fell or was killed in attack

February 25, 2010|By By Justin Fenton | The Baltimore Sun

The death of a 24-year-old Frederick man near his Baltimore hotel had homicide investigators stumped Wednesday.

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

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

The man went back out to 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, beside 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 had ruled out robbery as a motive, because the man's wallet had not been taken.

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

Guglielmi said police initially thought the man might have fallen from a window or balcony, but that theory was dismissed. It remained a possibility that he fell or tripped while walking in the alley or that he got into 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.

The man's name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

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