Anxious days of waiting have turned into weeks of agony for the family and friends of Kimberly Christine Mileo, the young Kettering woman who disappeared in Croom more than two weeks ago. For many, hope has been replaced by outrage.
Although Mileo's fate remains unknown, her distraught stepmother, Louise Mileo said yesterday, "The parents of whoever has done this are going to have to execute their child."
She said that each day becomes more difficult. Mike Mileo, a Silver Spring car salesman, remains calm but almost in a daze, according to his wife. He says that when he doesn't know what else to do, he goes out to the woods where his daughter's car was found and looks around.
Detective Frank Gayle, one of two detectives assigned full-time to the investigation, says that there still are a few leads to check out, including calls from psychics, but that solid leads are becoming scarce. Friends of the Mileos and the police have raised more than $10,000 for a reward to anyone who can lead police to Kim Mileo. Anonymous calls are being taken by the police Crime Solvers program at 735-1111.
In the meantime, fear has become pervasive in Croom, a sprawling farming community in southern Prince George's. A number of residents say that Mileo's disappearance reminds them of Stephanie Roper, a Croom woman who was brutally murdered in St. Mary's County last year.
On Wednesday, June 8, four days before her 21st birthday, Kimberly Mileo, a petite woman who worked at Bloomingdale's at White Flint Mall, left the Kettering townhouse that she shares with her father and stepmother and drove to Croom, where she spent most of the day swimming with a girl friend and later went to the home of her boyfriend, Dana Hudson, 24, who lives with his parents on Mount Calvert Road.
According to Hudson, he and Mileo had a minor argument before she left at 2:30 a.m. She never returned home. That Saturday, a friend of Hudson's found Mileo's gray Chevrolet Vega wagon abandoned on Croom Road, 13 miles south of the Hudson home, and in the opposite direction that Mileo should have taken to go home. Hudson and his parents inspected the car and called police. The car was locked, the keys were gone, but Mileo's wallet and one yellow flip-flop sandal were inside, police said.
"Whatever happened to her, happened quickly," said Hudson's mother, Margaret Hudson, who said police told her that someone saw the abandoned car at 3:15 a.m., only 45 minutes after Mileo reportedly left the Hudson home. Mrs. Hudson is annoyed that police did not find the car or begin their search sooner.
Although his parents advised against it, Dana Hudson volunteered to take a lie detector test, which police say he failed. His parents believe that their son's civil rights were violated because he was not allowed to call a lawyer. His parents said that their son is having a hard time and is blaming himself for Mileo's misfortune.
"The not knowing what happened to her is just torture," Margaret Hudson said.
Margaret and Donald Hudson have been active in the Stephanie Roper Committee, a group formed to seek stiffer criminal penalties after the 22-year-old Frostburg State College senior was murdered in April of last year. The Hudsons, who are friends and neighbors of the Ropers, often provided transportation for neighbors who attended the trial last fall of the two men charged with the murder. Committee members, enraged that Roper's killers received life sentences that could result in their release from prison in about 12 years, successfully lobbied for new laws that go into effect Friday.
Margaret Hudson said that the eight days before Stephanie Roper's body was found were agony for the Roper family, and added: "Little did I know that I would go through the same thing 14 months later."