Two Landover men have been arrested and charged in the slaying of Linda Marie Thies, a 22-year-old Howard County woman whose partially clad and brutally beaten body was found Saturday near a railroad track in Southeast Washington, D.C. police said yesterday.
Terrence Lee Waters, 23, and Roy Lee Lewis, 25, were charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Thies, described by her family as someone who had used drugs but was trying to straighten out her life. According to police sources and documents filed in D.C. Superior Court, she was raped by two men who killed her to cover up the assault.
Waters, of 1923 Ray Leonard Rd., was arrested about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday at D.C. police headquarters, where he had gone for questioning, and Lewis, of 2015 Ray Leonard Rd., was arrested about 5:30 p.m. yesterday on a D.C. Superior Court warrant, police said.
Though Thies' family said she was trying to conquer a history of drug abuse and had enrolled in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, sources said police were told she accompanied the men who later killed her because they offered to share PCP with her.
Police investigators who had feared a lengthy investigation got a break, sources said, from a Prince George's County police officer who said he saw Thies with at least two other men in a car parked behind a county school late Friday night or early Saturday.
D.C. police sources said that Thies earlier had been at Nuzbacks, a small bar on Rte. 1 in Laurel. The car she had been driving was found in the Nuzbacks parking lot the next day but no one saw her leave with anyone.
Sources familiar with the investigation said Thies was dropped off by a vehicle at the 7-Eleven, where she met up with two or three men parked in a car. The sources said she apparently did not know the men.
According to Howard County police, Thies phoned a friend twice within minutes from the 7-Eleven and pleaded with the friend to come and get her, saying "people are bothering me." However, by the time the friend and Prince George's County police arrived at the store, Thies had disappeared. Police said it was unclear whether she was forced into the car with the men or voluntarily left with them.
She was next seen by a Prince George's County police officer who was suspicious of a car he spotted behind a county school and asked its occupants to get out of the car for questioning. The officer allowed the group to leave after a cursory examination of the vehicle turned up nothing suspicious.
One source said that Thies and the men had been smoking PCP and drinking alcohol in the car prior to their being spotted by police.
The Prince George's officer, police said, later saw a picture of Thies on a local television station and contacted D.C. police, giving them the car's license plate number and a description of its occupants. D.C. police traced the vehicle to its owner, Waters, and, searching the car, found traces of blood in the trunk.
Following the group's encounter with the Prince George's police, the two men took Thies to a vacant lot in Maryland, where the men raped her, police said.
According to a sworn statement by D.C. police filed in D.C. Superior Court, Waters later told police that he struck her, had sexual relations with her and then held her while another man had sexual relations with her while Thies "struggled and resisted."
After the rapes, according to the document, Waters and the other man "discussed the need to kill Linda Thies as they transported her from the scene of the rape." An affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant for Lewis says, "Roy Lee Lewis told Terrence Lee Waters" that they "had to kill [Thies] or they would catch a rape beef [charge].' "
The sworn statement says the men took Thies to the rear of 225 33rd St. SE, near the Conrail tracks, where Waters "watched the other man retrieve a jack stand and bludgeon her in the head with it."
Waters is being held without bond pending a Nov. 14 hearing. Lewis is being held in Prince George's County pending extradition to the District.