Page 2 of 2   <      

High-Profile Homicides in Prince George's County Remain Unsolved

Sean Green was fatally shot at a red light as he headed to the gym.
Sean Green was fatally shot at a red light as he headed to the gym.
  Enlarge Photo    

Hundreds who turned out for Green's funeral recalled him as a role model who kept his eight young nephews in line and who could be found reading his Bible on breaks outside the National Counterterrorism Center in Tysons Corner, where he was a computer specialist.

"It's been a tough year," said his older brother, Stephen I. Green, 41. "There is nothing new. No progress."

Green said he met with Ivey to discuss the case this month just after the state's attorney announced he was turning over the investigation into White's death to the Department of Justice.

"It felt good to talk to him, but there's not much to say. We are at the behest of witnesses coming forward. It was a crowded intersection in rush hour. We know someone must have seen something."

Gordon said police have been investigating whether Green's slaying was a case of mistaken identity. Another man who frequented his apartment building drove a similar car, police said.

The Powell family in Mitchellville struggles with an equally perplexing killing.

Kanika Powell suspected something was wrong last August when a man knocked on her door claiming to be an FBI agent. He held a badge up to her peephole but walked away when Powell, 28, refused to open up without seeing a photo ID. Five days later, there was another knock at the door of her Laurel area apartment. This time it was a different man, who said he was delivering a package. He also vanished without leaving a package or a note saying where it could be claimed.

Later that day, police said, as Powell returned to her door after running errands, someone hiding in the hallway opened fire, riddling her with bullets.

Her slaying had all the trappings of a television drama: e-mail messages Powell wrote about the strange men coming to her door; a mysterious career as a security worker at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; the FBI's insistence that none of its agents had approached the woman's door; and investigators who said they found no robbery, no signs of gang activity, nothing.

Gordon said police continue to investigate several possible motives and suspects in her killing.

To the disappointment of county police, the cases that homicide detectives have spent the most time on this year also remain wide open.

The killings of pairs of mothers and daughters less than a half-mile apart in January and March prompted police to launch a task force and sequester a squad of detectives to chase down every lead. The problem: Most of the tips have led nowhere.

On Jan. 26, police found Karen Lofton, a school nurse, and her 16-year-old daughter, Karissa, shot inside their locked home in Largo.

On March 19, less than a half-mile away, the bodies of Deloris and Ebony Dewitt were found in a burning car, one in the trunk, the other in the back seat.

The vastly different ways the two sets of women were killed suggested that the killings were unrelated. But because of similarities between the victims in age and occupation and the proximity of their killings, detectives couldn't rule out that the same killer or killers were responsible.

Gordon said many of the original tips police received in the case never led to suspects.

Lt. Col Kevin Davis, the department's deputy chief in charge of major crimes and homicide, said that for the high-profile cases that remain unsolved, the department has solved as many more -- including killings of the county's poor and homeless -- that stayed largely "invisible" in the media in recent months.

"We approach each homicide the same and put resources into solving every one. . . . Hopefully, we get a few breaks and solve them all."

<       2

© 2009 The Washington Post Company