Police: drugs found on man found dead in empty Jessup house

Homeowner had died two weeks earlier, leaving house vacant

May 02, 2011|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

Drugs were discovered on the man found dead in a Jessup house over the weekend, according to Howard County police, and investigators are now waiting to learn if the drugs contributed to his death.

Sherry Llewellyn, a Police Department spokeswoman, said that a preliminary autopsy report from the state medical examiner indicated that Najib Malik Abdullah, 26, did not die of any type of trauma, but police are waiting for the toxicology report to see whether drugs played a role. Llewellyn said that the drugs found were "of a serious nature."

Abdullah and his 5-year-old son, who was treated for dehydration and released to relatives, were found Saturday in an unoccupied house in the 8700 block of Mary Lane. Curtis Wise, whose father built the house in 1969, called police Wednesday after noticing that a basement window had been broken. The house had been empty since mid-April, when Wise's father died.

Police did not find anything suspicious when inspecting the home with Wise on Wednesday, who said in a telephone interview that he had pointed to the basement closet where Abdullah was later found and told the officers "that's the only place where somebody could hide." According to Wise, the officers pushed gently on the door and could not get it open. Abdullah's body was found inside the closet, against the door, several days later, according to police.

Wise said that he also asked the officers whether police helicopters that he saw searching the neighborhood last Tuesday night might have had anything to do with the break-in, but was told the search was related to a robbery nearby.Llewellyn said Monday that police had been searching for Abdullah after he left his father's house, which is nearby, with his son last Tuesday after a domestic dispute that ended with a "physical assault" on Abdullah's father. A warrant for Abdullah's arrest had been issued that day, Llewellyn said.

On Saturday, Wise returned to the house with his wife, Barbara, and son, Troy, who was overcome by a smell near the basement door. He kicked in the door and a little boy emerged.

"He was looking lost and scared, and he said that his daddy is dead," Barbara Wise said. "He said that his daddy and his pop-pop had an argument."

Llewellyn said that police do not know if Abdullah was alive when the house was searched by police last week, but "there was no sound, no smell, no indication that the little boy was in there." Barbara Wise said that her father-in-law had loved children and that he "must have been a guardian angel for this child."

Curtis Wise said nobody in his family knew Abdullah, but Llewellyn said that Abdullah might have heard in the neighborhood that John Wise Jr. had died and thought his house would be empty.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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