Price George's County police launched an intensive search yesterday for a young, well-dressed blond man seen leaving the Bowie home where a 27-year-old woman and her 4-month-old daughter were found slain Friday, without an apparent motive.
The bodies were discovered in a blood-drenched kitchen about an hour after a neighbor said he noticed the victim, Carol Lewis, closing the draperies on the sliding glass doors of her patio, something he said she never had done before. The family's Siberian husky dog was barking at the backdoor of the house, at the same time.
Police said Mrs. Lewis and her 4-month-old daughter, Heather, were discovered by Lon A. Lewis, 28, the husband, when he returned from work at 7 p.m. to his home at 4807 Raemore La. in the ROckledge section of Bowie.
The victims were lying close together in what police described as "gallons of blood." Partial autopsy reports indicated that both victims suffered cuts, slashes, punctures and bruises, according to police spokesman Doug Hill.
"The bodies were battered and torn. The skin was cut, but there also were bruises. Whoever did this must have used a lot of physical aggression," Hill said.
Hill said that police do not know how many or what kind of weapons were used but that the same weapon or weapons apparently were used on both victims.
"It may have been a knife, it may have been a blunt instrument or it may have been a blunt instument that was honed," he said.
Neighbors said that Mrs. Lewis had left her white Ford Torino parked in the driveway of her ranch style house all day long. A dark green car drove up late Friday afternoon in front of the house where Mrs. Lewis' only occasional visitors were her mother and relatives.
"There's never a car parked there," said neighbor Kathy Cook who recalled seeing the car as she left for the store about 5 p.m. that day. A 12-year-old girl, standing at the edge of her driveway on the other side of the block from the Lewis house, recalled a green car with a hard top going "up the hill" on Raemor Lane, around 6 or 6:30 in the direction of the Lewis house.
The young girl described the driver as a man in his early 20s or late teens with short straight hair of a color between blond and brown.
"I waved at him," the girl said, "because he looked like someone I know. He turned and looked at me and I saw he wasn't the same person that I knew. He looked at me like I was crazy."
Police later put out a description of the man his car. The man was said to have acne on his face. He was described by police as "very neat and dapper" wearing light-colored dress slacks and a sport coat one shade darker. He was carrying a dart attache case when he was seen in the late afternoon entering the house.
When he left, he was driving a faded olive green four-door mid-sized car with a vinyl roof. The car was raised in the rear, police said.
Between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Friday 12-year-old Marty Pessagno, who lives at 4809 Raemore La. next door to the Lewis house, was playing soccer in his backyard, when he noticed Carol Lewis scraping her shutters on the patio.
Marty Pessagno said that when she went inside she left her Siberian husky dog outside in the backyard. The dog jumped on the back door and started barking.
Neihbors charactized the Rockledge area as quiet and untoubled. "We've never had any thefts on this street," said Jim Cook, reference to the well-manicured middle-class area. "When I first moved here, it was so quiet I couldcouldn't sleep." Neighbors said they said no noise from the lewis house late Friday afternoon at a time when the only noises on the block are children playing and an occasional lawmower.
"It's the kind of neighborhood where you don't always what's going on," Kathy Cook explained. "I can take a walk and not see anyone."
With the exception of the women who gathered for tea in the afternoon or sat on the steps of each others' homes, few of the neighbors knew much about each other in general or the Lewis family in particular. They said Lon Lewis was a computer technician.
"Neighbors know neighbors to say 'hi,'" Judy Pessagno explained, "but it's not the sort of place where everyone knows everyone's business."
Carol Lewis was someone people said 'hi' to. She and her husband were frequently seen walking the dog with neighborhood children or walking with their 4-month-old baby. Neighbor Cheryl Martin recalls seeing Mrs. Lewis pusing a baby carriage on Faemore Lane at about 3:15, only a few hours before she was found dead.
The 12-year-old who noticed the green car drive up Raemore Lane said the Lewises had been married for seven years and lived in their Rockledge house for one and a half years.
The young girl remembered Mrs. Lewis saying at a picnic last Labor Day that her husband would call her every day at 4:30 p.m. "She brought up how he would call her every night to say if he was coming straight home. That way, she said, she'd know when to start dinner."
Richard Pessagno, also a computer maintenance man, said that Lewis usually came home from work between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Marty Pessagno said the Lewis couple talked frequently of riding their Honda 750 motorcycle to places like Hershey amusement park in Pennsylvania. Lon Lewis had given Marty and his brother rides on the motorcycle.