After searching the woods and fields around Salisbury for four days, Maryland State Police yesterday dammed a small stream, dug into the stream bed and found the body of a small boy believed to be a 10-year-old who left his home to go swimming last July and never returned.
Within hours, police had charged 45-year-old Ellwood Leroy Leusechner with murdering the missing boy, Troy Leroy Krause. It was the second murder charge involving a young boy brought against the convicted rapist in the last four days.
Leuschner was charged earlier this week with stabbing 9-year-old William Russell (Rusty) Marine Jr. to death after sexually assulting the boy. For several months, the Marine boy had lived next door to Leuschner in a trailer park community just north of this Eastern Shore community.
[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] Mardela Springs, an area about 10 miles northwest of Salisbury that is favored by local deer hunters. The streambed grave was about 150 yards away from the shallow grave where police Monday morning discovered the body of Rusty Marine.
The body discovered yesterday has been sent to the state medical examiners's office in Baltimore, for positive identification and for determination as to the cause of death. However, State Police yesterday said they were "99 per cent sure" that the body was Troy Krause's.
Leuschner, a convicted rapist who was paroled from prison in California in 1974, was picked up by state police in Salisbury on Sunday, a day after Rusty Marine disappeared.
According to police, investigators concentrated on the slight, gaunt laborer when they discovered that a green car, similar to the one Leuschner drove, had been seen near Troy Krause's trailer park in July. They also had received reports that a man driving a similar car had made an unsuccessful attempt to abduct a child from a shopping center parking lot.
After they arrested Leuschner on Sunday on charges of violating his California parole, police concentrated their search for the Marine boy on the Mardela Springs farm, where Leuschner had been known to go hunting and where they had heard that his green Camaro had been seen.
Leuschner has told local authorities that he arrived in Salisbury three years ago in 1974, but according to California Department of Corrections officials, he remained in the Los Angeles area, under the supervision of his parole officer, until March 1976.
At that point, according to Corrections Department officer Helen Atkinson, "he absconded from parole and that was the last we hard of him."
As he took off, Leuschner wrote his parole officer a letter, Atkinson said. In it, he said he was leaving because he feared for his safety if he stayed in Los Angeles. He had been charged with rape, she said, but the rape charges had been dropped by the victim.
At the time of his parole in 1974, Leuschner was serving time for the 1965 rape of a 12-year-old girl. He had dressed in black clerical robes, according to news reports at the time, and asked the girl, who was passing by to come into a nearby church and help him carry some packages.
Once inside the church, he raped her, according to the accusations.
During his time in prison, Atkinson said, Leuschner was in and out of state mental hospitals. He was classified by the California authorities as a "mentally disordered sex offender," she said.
Gradually, the psychiatric reports on Leuschner improved, Atkinson said. Just before his release in 1974, one psychiatric report said that Leuschner had "low violence potential."
As the State Police in Salisbury gathered their evidence yesterday - the knife believed to have been used in the Marine boy's murder, the shovel that police said was used to dig his grave - they were also faced with the prospect of answering eight or more inquires from police departments around the country.