Homeless man arrested in Balto. Co. drowning death

August 20, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A homeless man has been charged with drowning and strangling another man at a Baltimore County park after the two men spent the day drinking, police said.

Sean Patrick Mryncza, 32, was found in Fells Point on Thursday night and taken into custody, county police said. He was being held without bail.

Charging documents show that detectives investigating the Aug. 2 death of 43-year-old Donald Edward Russell at Lynch Point Community Park located a group of juveniles who had seen a man in a green canoe next to a body floating in the water. A woman also said she saw two men arguing, and a neighbor's video surveillance cameras captured a man in a canoe paddling away from the area where Russell was found.

On Aug. 3, police found the canoe and were recovering it when an unidentified person arrived and said it belonged to Mryncza. Police were told by relatives that Mryncza was a heavy drinker who was not allowed to stay with them and "lived in the canoe," records show.

Mryncza had walked to his father's house the day after Russell was found and was acting erratically, and was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for an emergency evaluation. At the hospital, police say, Mryncza said he was fed up with life and said, "I'm done," and "It's over," according to records.

Detectives interviewed Mryncza, who said he shared a bottle of liquor with Russell. He said they drank until it was dark, but denied that they argued or got into the water, records show.

"When asked what the victim was doing when he [Mryncza] left the park, he replied, 'Probably screaming,' " Detective Dave Jacoby wrote in court papers. "When asked what that meant, Sean said 'He was pretty messed up and so was I.' "

Officers found Russell's body about 11:15 p.m. Aug. 2 after responding to reports of a possible drowning victim.

Russell, who lived in the 6700 block of North Point Road, was pronounced dead at the scene. After an autopsy, a medical examiner declared his death a homicide, with injuries consistent with strangulation and water in his lungs.


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