Laurel police said yesterday that a man found dead in his home Friday died of a gunshot to the head.

Jim Collins, a spokesman for the Laurel police department, said autopsy results also show that Ryan Odell Mance, 21, a student at Bowie State University, had been dead for several hours when he was found by his mother about 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Mance last spoke with his mother Thursday at 7 p.m., when she called him to let him know she would be sleeping at a friend's house that night, Collins said.

Mance's body was discovered on the living room floor just inside the front door of the two-bedroom town house he shared with his mother in the Laurel Lakes section of the city.

Collins said police arrived at the crime scene after receiving a 911 call from the victim's mother. When officers arrived, they found the front door closed. There was no sign of forced entry, Collins said. He said the house was not ransacked and nothing appeared to have been taken.

Collins said police do not know whether Mance knew his killer or whether the killer was already in the house when Mance was shot.

A man who was trying to keep people away from the Mance home in the 14300 block of Chapel Cove Court yesterday said the family would have nothing to say about Mance's death.

As police tried to piece the case together, some of Mance's neighbors in the quiet community of detached houses and town houses speculated about the crime.

Theresa Ho said that although the community sits just off the busy Route 1 corridor near a few crime-plagued neighborhoods, Mance's street as well as the surrounding area had experienced little if any crime before Friday.

"We've had nothing, no break-ins, no vandalisms and certainly no murders," said Ho, who described Mance as a well-dressed, very clean and well-spoken young man. "I just want to know if this was a random thing or if he was targeted. If it was random, I don't know how long I could stay here."

Collins said Mance's missing car, a purple Geo Prism with the Maryland license plate number GRR 507, could yield some clues in the case.

The funeral for Mance is expected to be this week, Collins said.