Cumberland Times-News

November 7, 2013

Police seek clues in cold case homicide

Unidentified body found in shallow grave at farm off of Price Road in 1986

For the Cumberland Times-News
Cumberland Times-News

— LITTLE ORLEANS — Maryland State Police homicide investigators hope an enhanced photograph of a homicide victim whose decomposed body was found in Allegany County more than 25 years ago will help generate leads concerning his identity and, ultimately, those who were responsible for his death.  

The male victim has never been identified. He is believed to have been hispanic, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, about 165 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair and a black mustache. Investigators believe he was between 25 and 50 years old.  

The investigation began  March 21, 1986, when Maryland State Police were called to a large farm on Price Road at Little Orleans. The property owner had discovered the decomposing remains in what appeared to be a shallow grave near a wooded area on his farm.  

Forensic experts at the time estimated the victim’s body may have been there two months.  

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the man had been slain. A cause of death was also determined, but is not being released by investigators.  

MSP investigators worked the investigation diligently in the months and years that followed. Troopers were not able to identify the victim or develop enough evidence to make an arrest.  

Sgt. Tina Becker, an MSP Homicide Unit investigator assigned to cold case investigations, continues to work this crime. She is being assisted by Detective Evelyn Grant of the Baltimore County Police Department, who is an expert forensic artist. Grant used an original autopsy photo taken of the decomposing body to develop a probable likeness of the victim at the time of his death.  

Homicide investigators hope circulation of the new photo will prompt the memories of those who may have known or seen the victim. Information may be provided to Becker at 410-386-3029 or to Detective Sgt. Padraic Lacy at the Cumberland Barrack at 301-729-2101, ext. 7122. Calls may remain confidential.