The gaunt, quiet laborer who has been charged with murdering a 9-year-old neighbor boy here last weekend after sexually assaulting him and already been convicted of rape on three separate occasions, long before he came to this Eastern Shore community.
According to police records read by the presiding judge at Ellwood Leroy Leuschner's bail hearing today, Leuschner's history of sexual assaults dates back to 1953, when he was first convicted of rape.
After reading this record, the noting that Leuschner, 45, also is charged with violating parole restrictions imposed on him by California authorities. Wicomico County District Court Judge Robert C. Dallas ordered Leuschner held without bond.
Maryland State Police said Leuschner, whom they arrested Sunday in Salisbury on a parole violation charge gave a statement to police late yesterday about 9-year-old William Russell (Rusty) Marine Jr., who had been missing from his home since Saturday.
Earlier yesterday, the partially clad body of the boys was found in a shallow grave on a farm about 10 miles from the Naylor Mill Trailer Village where both Leuschner and the boy lived.
The farm, called the Zimmerman farm, is a favored hunting location for local deer hunters, and Leuschner was known to have hunted there often, police said today.
Rusty Marine had left home after lunch aturday saying he was going out to play. When he failed to return to the trailer by 7 p.m., his mother and stepfather called Maryland State police to report him missing.
The Marine case bears a similarity to the disappearance last July of 10-year-old Troy William Krause, who lived in a small trailer park on the other side of town for Naylor Mill Village.
Today, after filed an application indicating that he could not afford to hire an attorney and requesting that a public defender represent him. In that application Leuschner told authorities that he had moved to the Salisbury area three years ago.
A slight 5 feet 8 man, Leuschner appeared at this afternoon's hearing looking haggard and unshaven. He spoke only once to answer "no, sir," when Judge Dallas asked him if he had anything to say.
Leuschner had worked for several months doing general labor for the Campbell Soup Company's frozen food processing plant in Salisbury.
A white man among the predominantly black labor force at the piant, a newcomer joining workers who were, for the most part, born in Salisbury, Leuschner had been the object of some comment at the plant, one fellow worker said today.
"He never had too much to say, other what he absolutely had to say," said the coworker, who asked not to be identified.A withdrawn man. Leuschner "looked like he didn't want to attract attention," he employee added.
Although this employee reported that Leuschner did have a girl friend, a woman about 15 years younger than he who also worked at the Campbell's plant, court officials reported today that he has no wife or children, and no relatives in the Eastern Shore area.
Today's court hearing from which several reporters were barred, was jammed with various law enforcement personnel, including two officers of the Virginia State police, who are investigating another recent murder of a young boy on the Eastern Shore.
In mid July, 10 days before Troy Krause disappeared, 10-year-old David Bennet was reported missing from his grandmother's home in Cape Charles, a Virginia community about 70 miles south of Salisbury.
Bennet's badly decomposed body was found three days after his disappearance, lying in a roadside ditch about six miles from his grandmother's home. He had been strangled.
Maryland State Police today continued to say that they have in no way linked Leuschner to the Bennet slaying.