A 20-year-old Brandywine man was shot to death and left in a drainage ditch off Surratts Road in Clinton early yesterday morning, Prince George's County police reported. It was the second murder in this sparsely populated area of southern Prince George's County in less than four days.
Police found the body of Christopher Charles Rudolph in a concrete ditch near the South Maryland Hospital Center at about 5:45 a.m., after they were called to the scene by a passing taxi driver.
Rudolph had been shot once in the back of the head, apparently with a shotgun, according to the report filed by a state medical examiner.
Prince George County police spokesman John Hoxie said there was no apparent connection between yesterday's slaying and that of 12-year-old Donald Alan Henley, who was found stabbed four miles away near Piscataway Road Sunday morning.
Hoxie said police had no suspects late yesterday in the recent slaying. But he said that investigators were "closely reviewing" police files on Rudolph, who was on probation as a result of a breaking and entering conviction. Rudolph had also been the victim of a shooting and two other assaults in the past 15 months.
Rudolph, of 11705 Crestwood Ave., was the victim of an assault last August and a shooting the following December, and was stabbed in a fight in March 1977. All of the incidents occurred in Prince George's County, according to police records.
Because Rudolph would not cooperate with investigators after the various incidents, police were unable to file charges against persons who allegedly assaulted him, Hoxie said.
Rudolph lived with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. James Ivy, in a two-story, red brick home on Crestwood Avenue in a recently developed area of Brandywine. Rudolph's brother, Raymond III, 22, also lives at the house, and a second brother, Daryl, 19, lives in Arlington.
Rudolph's grandfather said yesterday morning that despite the youth's troubles in the past, his family was not aware of any enemies he might have had or any motive for the killing.
"I suppose kids that age have enemies," Ivy said, "but I really don't have any idea of who it could have been."
Ivy said Rudolph attended Gwynn Park High School in Brandywine for several years but did not graduate. He worked for a while as a carpenter, but was forced to stop work because of heart problems and had been unemployed for several months, Ivy said.
The youth left home at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, his grandfather said, and was not heard from again. It is believed that Rudolph left with another person, because he did not have a car.
Early yesterday morning, Patrolman Robert R. Stallings was parked outside the home of Bill Neson at 7508 Surratts Dr. - 20 yards from where the body was found - when both Wilson and Stallings, who were conversing near the streets, heard a shot and the squeal of tires.
Stalling turned his car and raced around a brush-obscured corner to the area of the drainage ditch, but did not see a car or the body, which was noticed later by the taxi driver, Hoxie said.
"It (the murder) doesn't worry me, because I think it was an isolated incident," Wilson, 40, a former police officer, said yesterday morning. "But two murders this fast are going to upset a lot of people in Clinton, and it makes me wonders."