* Three men were charged with first-degree murder in the starvation of a retired Johns Hopkins University archeologist who was found dead after being locked in a closet for 10 days.

The body of Sarah Freeman, 79, was found Feb. 25 by police tipped off by a mailman who was concerned that Freeman's mail had been piling up.

Police said it appeared that the woman was locked in the closet by burglars and that she probably died during the last two days of her confinement.

Baltimore County police Sgt. Brian Uppercue said two of the suspects had been in jail on other charges and the third was arrested at his home without incident.

"We got information from an anonymous source that the suspects were involved" in Freeman's death, Uppercue said.

"We recovered some things from another burglary one of the men was involved in that we think was taken from Freeman's home."

Charged Saturday with first-degree murder were Vincent Cole, 23, and his brother, Jeffrey, 21, and Arthur Johnson Jr., 21, all of Baltimore, police said. Police said they had evidence the three men were at Freeman's home about 10 days before she was found.

Freeman was an archeologist, coin expert and fine-arts curator for the Johns Hopkins University until her retirement in the early 1970s.

The arrests climaxed an investigation by city and county police that concentrated on break-ins at the homes of elderly people in recent months, county police said.