Mother Finds Body of Missing Daughter in Bladensburg Home They Shared

By Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Bladensburg woman who told authorities Thursday that her adult daughter had been missing for several days called police yesterday to say she'd found her body in the small home they shared, where the mother had been living all week, police said.

Prince George's County police said yesterday that Rozeeta Ann Holley, 23, suffered severe trauma to the upper body and appeared to have been dead for several days. They classified her death as a homicide.

Ann Knipe, who identified herself as Holley's mother, said in an interview that she had spent much of yesterday crying after the discovery. Knipe said she had been instructed by police not to discuss details of the case or to say how she did not notice the body for days.

"The police told me I can't say where she was found," Knipe said on the porch of the home in the 4100 block of 53rd Place, a working-class neighborhood off Annapolis Road. "I'll talk when they catch the person."

Police also declined to say where in the house the body was found and said they were awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine when and how Holley was killed.

Yesterday, Knipe and one of Holley's friends sat in the home in a darkened room smoking cigarettes. A stroller and children's toys littered the front yard.

Neighbors said two and sometimes three young children were often at the home. The neighbors said they weren't sure whether the children had been present in recent days. Several said they heard sirens shortly after 1 a.m., about the time police said Knipe called 911.

The friend of Holley's, who identified herself only as Shavonna, said Holley had a boyfriend. She described Holley as a "great girl" before welling up with tears and walking back inside the home.

Holley's mother contacted police Thursday to report that Holley hadn't been seen in several days and that it was uncharacteristic of her to disappear, said Sgt. Tracy Stone of the Bladensburg Police Department. She asked for the department's help searching hospitals and asked whether Holley had had any run-ins with police. Stone said the family did not file a formal missing-persons report.

The homicide is the first in nine months in Bladensburg. The town averages less than two a year.

Staff researcher Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.

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