Thursday, February 9, 2006 8:54 AM
The body of woman who was reported missing in December was found Tuesday night, and police have charged a man they say she met on the Internet with her murder.
Josie Phyllis Brown, 27, of Baltimore was reported missing by her family late in December. Her body was found Tuesday near the interchange of Interstates 95 and 695 in Arbutus in Baltimore County, police said.
Police were led to Brown's body by John Gaumer, 22, a former biochemistry major at University of Maryland Baltimore County. He was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in Brown's slaying. He was being held without bail.
Baltimore County Police spokesman Bill Toohey said Gaumer told police he met Brown on myspace.com and the two went on a date on Dec. 28. They argued in his car, Toohey said, and Gaumer left Brown on the ramp of the Baltimore Beltway. Gaumer told police he went back to where he left Brown, the argument resumed, and Gaumer threw Brown down and embankment and beat her with a tree limb.
Gaumer, who lived in private housing on the UMBC campus, was a student there until Wednesday, when his parents withdrew him, according to a university spokesman.
After Brown's family reported her missing to police, investigators checked her cell phone records. They showed that Brown had talked to Gaumer on Dec. 29.
Gaumer told investigators that he and Brown had gone to dinner and to several bars that night in Baltimore, and he said he took her to her Hampden home. But the records show her cell phone received a call after midnight in the Arbutus area, according to police.
Oliver Baranczyk, a senior at UMBC who shared an apartment with Gaumer, told The (Baltimore) Sun he, Gaumer, another roommate and his fiancee were awakened by police officers about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Police with a warrant searched the apartment Tuesday, according to charging documents. Baranczyk said that when he returned to the home, Gaumer's bed frame was out in the hallway and bed sheets, Gaumer's computer hard drives and cell phone were gone.