MARYLAND

St. Mary's Man Found Slain at Home

Sheriff's investigators in St. Mary's County said late yesterday that they are investigating the death of a man found Tuesday afternoon in his Leonardtown town house as a homicide.

Lt. John Horne said yesterday that he would not discuss details of the death of Michael K. Blankenship, 49, except to say that the state medical examiner's office performed the autopsy yesterday and ruled the death a homicide.

Blankenship's car, a white 1998 Chrysler, was missing from the home after Blankenship's body was found, police said. Blankenship, a mortician, was a former treasurer of the Democratic Club of St. Mary's County.

VIRGINIA

Severe Beating Suspected in Death

A man found dead Sunday in a Mount Vernon-area nursery apparently was beaten to death, Fairfax County police said yesterday. Detectives have been unable to locate any family of the victim or suspects in the case.

Police believe Henry A. Garvey, 65, may have been homeless and allowed to stay inside Edmonds Garden Center, at 8351-A Richmond Highway, by the nursery's owner. The small, one-story wood building with a corrugated tin roof usually is closed during the winter months, neighboring business owners said yesterday, opening only to sell Christmas trees and firewood during the holiday season.

On Sunday morning, the nursery's owner phoned the office but got no answer from Garvey, police spokeswoman Gretchen Lacharite said. About 11:30 a.m., the owner visited the building and found Garvey's body inside. An autopsy Monday revealed that Garvey died of blunt-force trauma.

Police are asking anyone with information to call them at 703-691-2131.

Pit Bulls' Owner Charged After Attack

The owner of two pit bulls that attacked a 77-year-old Fairfax County man Monday night has been charged with animal-related offenses, Fairfax police said yesterday.

Jamon D. Downing, of the 2800 block of Joseph Makell Court in the Hybla Valley area, was arrested after Downing's dogs, Te Te and Mischief, attacked a neighbor in his yard Monday night. Downing, 19, was charged with having an unrestricted dog and not obtaining a county dog license or proof of rabies vaccination.

The victim was treated at a hospital for severe dog bites, police said. The pit bulls were released to animal control officers to be euthanized.

THE DISTRICT

Shooting Victim's Body Found in Alley

The body of an unidentified man was found yesterday in an alley outside an apartment building in the 4400 block of First Place NE, police said.

The victim, who apparently had been shot in the head, was found about 8 a.m. He was transported to the D.C. medical examiner's office, where he was pronounced dead, police said. An autopsy is scheduled today.

Police said they had no suspects in the case last night.

Anyone with any information about the shooting is asked to call the 4th Police District at 202-576-6726 or the D.C. Crime Solvers Unit at 800-673-2777.

CAPTION: Police are searching for family of Henry A. Garvey, who was found dead Sunday.