A 20-year-old Suitland woman was found dead in her apartment Friday evening by friends who had spoken to the victim two hours before, according to Prince George's County police. An autopsy conducted yesterday by the State Medical Examiner's office in Baltimore showed that the woman had been strangled and received "multiple blunt injuries."
Laura Renee Bantzler, of 2031 Brooks Dr., was discovered lying on the hallway floor in her eighth floor apartment by two friends, police said. The woman, who was single and lived alone in the Oakcrest Towers apartment, a housing complex for adults, had called a friend at 5 p.m. and invited him to come to her apartment, according to police.
The friend and another acquaintance arrived at 7 p.m. and knocked several times, but the door was never answered, they told police. They said they left to phone Bantzler, and when they failed to reach the woman by phone, the pair returned to the apartment 20 minutes later and knocked again. This time, said police, the door opened and they found the woman on the floor and notified police.
Police would not say whether the woman was sexually assaulted and had not determined if anything had been stolen from the apartment. They have no motives and no suspects.
Bantzler's slaying was Prince George's County's second homicide of the year. There were a record 95 homicides committed there in 1987.
This year's first homicide took place last Sunday when 27-year-old Darryl Booker died several hours after he was struck by a shot fired from a crowd gathered near an apartment complex on Cindy Lane in Capitol Heights.