Balto. Co. police search for elderly Pikesville victims' grandson

No suspects named in double homicide

  • An Insurance restoration contractor worker is pictured at the house at 800 Olmstead Road in Pikesville where the elderly couple Vaughn George Pepper, 87, and Marjorie Marie Pepper, 85, were found dead. Baltimore County Police are investigating their deaths as homicides.
An Insurance restoration contractor worker is pictured at… (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
September 11, 2012|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County police said Tuesday they were searching for a man whose elderly grandparents were found dead this week in the Pikesville home that the three shared.

Vaughn George Pepper, 87 and Marjorie Marie Pepper, 85, were discovered in their home Monday afternoon. Police are investigating their deaths as homicides and said they do not believe the killings were random.

Detectives continue to search for the couple's grandson, Matthew Long, 31, who lived with his grandparents in the 800 block of Olmstead Road, to question him. Police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said they are not calling him a suspect.

"Because he lived at the home, we're interested in having him talk with us," Armacost said. As of Tuesday evening, she said detectives had not made contact with Long. "We have been looking for him since this happened."

She could not say whether authorities are searching out-of-state for Long, whether police believe he is in danger or why he was staying with his grandparents. Armacost said police believe the victims died sometime Saturday.

Police said they recovered a weapon at the scene, but have not said what it was or released a cause of death. Detectives have ruled out a shooting, Armacost said.

Long's brother Gregory declined to discuss the case when reached by phone Tuesday, but said, "The family is coming together to memorialize two wonderful Americans."

He said his grandfather was a World War II combat veteran who served in the Army and earned a Purple Heart. Long, stationed with the Army at Fort Carson in Colorado, said his grandfather inspired him to serve.

After serving in the military, Vaughn Pepper was a state trooper for 30 years, from 1946 to 1976, State Police spokesman Greg Shipley confirmed. He retired as a captain from the Waterloo Barrack in Howard County.

The couple lived for years in the modest, two-story white-brick home in the historic Sudbrook Park neighborhood.

Several neighbors recalled friendly waves from the Peppers, who often sat out on their side porch. They recalled Vaughn Pepper working in the yard and clearing snow with his grandson.

The Peppers were longtime members of nearby Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church.

Neighbor Reid Myers, 64, said he grew up on the same street as the Peppers and had known them since he was a child. His father was close friends with Vaughn Pepper.

"He was a really friendly guy," Myers said of Pepper.

Myers said he learned of the deaths through a phone call from an old friend, who grew up on the same block. He said the neighborhood is in shock.

"I don't know what to think," he said, saying he thought at first of some recent home invasions in the area. "It's a shame. I'm just glad somebody contacted police."

Tuesday afternoon, Pikesville Precinct outreach officer Larry Stallings knocked on doors to speak with residents about the killing, trying to answer as many questions as possible about the case and assuage neighbors' concerns about violence in the quiet neighborhood.

Police said there was no apparent forced entry to the home. They had been called to the home by a neighbor who had been contacted by a concerned out-of-state relative of the victims.

Officers could see Vaughn Pepper lying on the floor when they were called to the home at about 4 p.m. and later found his wife in the basement. Both had what were described as traumatic injuries

The medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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