Autopsies performed yesterday on the bodies of a man and woman found in a burning car on a rural Landover Road Sunday afternoon revealed that both had died of gunshot wounds, according to the Maryland state medical examiner.
The victims, Nathaniel Johnson, Jr., 37, an inmate at the Community Vocational Rehabilitation Center in Baltimore, and Linda Carole Kane, 25, a restaurant operator from Baltimore, had been shot in the head, officials said Kane had also been wounded in the neck, the autopsy revealed.
Johnson was a convicted heroin dealer who ran a $1 million drug business in Baltimore, according to police. At the time of his death, he was free from prison on an eight-hour Sunday pass.
Johnson was serving a 20-year sentence that had been reduced from 35 years last year. Becuase of his good conduct as a prisoner, he had been transferred from the Maryland State Penitentiary to the minimum security rehabilitation center in Baltimore.
Police have yeto to establish a motive in the killings.
The victims were pulled from the blazing car by passerby who spotted them at about 3:45 p.m. Sunday on the 1300 block of Brightseat Road. The car had been rented by one of the victims from an agency, but police refused yesterday to release the name of the agency.
Authorities were uncertain yesterday why Johnson and Kane were in the Washington area.
Robert McColley, who overseas the rehabilitation program, said Johnson was not permitted to leave Baltimore city. However, corrections officials do to make checks on prisioners who are on leave for a few hours, he said.
Kane's sister, Lula Jennings, said she did not know why her sister was with Johnson and that no one in her family knew Johnson.
Johnson, whose nickname was Junior Bunk, was described as a model prisoner whose progress in the prison system was "exceptionally good." While at the Baltimore center, he had been working for a local construction firm.
When Johnson was arrested, said Jerry Hyatt, who prosecuted Johnson he was livng in a row house in Baltimore that had been renovated.
There were color televisions in each room, including one on a swivel stand in the bathroom, Hyatt recalled.
There was also a fountain spouting colored water in the living room, Hyatt recalled.
Police confiscated 20 packets of heroin from Johnson's home when he was arrested, Hyatt said.
Kane sand her sister operated a restaurant called "Soul City" on North Monroe Street in Baltimore.