Police yesterday dug up a body believed to be that of a 71-year-old Montgomery County woman and charged two more people in her disappearance -- including a man who allegedly was paid $250 to haul the dead victim in a trash can from her home and bury her under a farm shed 38 miles away.
David G. Kaufman, 36, was charged with being an accessory after the fact in the slaying of Joyce Hadl, a private social worker who was reported missing Saturday from her home near Chevy Chase. Court documents allege that Kaufman drove Hadl's body in a pickup truck to the farm where he lived with his father in the Carroll County community of Westminster.
Roger M. Greenberg, 62, who lived in a rented room in Potomac, was charged with first-degree murder. Susan L. Sachs, 39, who lived in Hadl's home in the 2800 block of Washington Avenue, was charged Monday with first-degree murder.
Sachs "was a street person, or somebody who wasn't too stably settled, who Joyce had at times gotten to help her with work around the house," said Audrey Driver, a friend and colleague of the victim. But their relationship soured about a month ago, Driver said. Police allege that Sachs and Greenberg killed Hadl and that Kaufman got rid of the body.
"After the murder, [Sachs] called David Kaufman to help with the disposal of Joyce Hadl," police said in an affidavit. "Kaufman agreed and drove down to [Hadl's house]. Kaufman removed the body, which was wrapped in bed linens, inside a plastic bag, which was inside a garbage can."
The three suspects, all of whom are being held in the Montgomery County jail, have been friends for several years, according to a police affidavit filed in court.
The Maryland medical examiner had not officially identified the body last night, but police said they believe it is Hadl's. They did not say how she was killed. Although she was not reported missing until Saturday, neighbors, friends and relatives said yesterday that they had not seen Hadl since Aug. 16.
Witnesses told police that Sachs was seen leaving Hadl's house about 3:30 a.m. Saturday with garbage bags that appeared to be full, according to court documents. Greenberg helped Sachs load the bags into a blue Ford Crown Victoria, the documents state.
Police forced their way into Hadl's house later that day and found a stain about 18 inches in diameter near the head of Hadl's bed, the documents state.
Hadl, who was divorced, had several boarders at her house, according to police and people who knew her. They said Sachs had been living there rent-free for several months, in exchange for cleaning the house.
"This person, who had been a hard worker, had changed in her demeanor and her attitude," said Driver. She said Sachs "was accusatory, was clearly mentally disturbed to the point that Joyce became alarmed and wanted her out of the house."
When Sachs refused to leave, Hadl called police. On Aug. 16, police and two social workers came to question Sachs, but concluded that she could not legally be removed from the house, Driver said. "I told her to get a lock on her bedroom door because Susan was walking around the house" and calling Hadl insulting names.
Hadl was "disappointed" that the police could not make Sachs leave, Driver said, but vowed not to change her daily routine. "She didn't fear for her life," Driver said.
Born in Boston to Jewish immigrant parents, Hadl graduated from Tufts University and received a master's degree in social work from Columbia University, according to a sister, Ina B. Samuel.
"She had a real talent for understanding people and getting through to their needs and problems," said Samuel, 67. "She felt a dedication and a responsibility towards democracy and human improvement of life."
Hadl was a social worker in Massachusetts before moving to the Washington area, Samuel said. She said her sister believed passionately in civil rights and sought to connect with young black people by teaching at Howard University in the 1960s.
"She wanted to expand her horizons," Samuel said. "She didn't have some of the typical aspirations of a girl from her background. . . . I remember her telling me with great pride that it was her last lecture of the term, and her students stood and gave her a standing ovation. She must have reached them through her teaching."
Later, while working at social service centers in Northern Virginia, Hadl traveled the globe to work with poor people in Cambodia, South Africa, India, China and elsewhere, sometimes under the auspices of the American Red Cross and sometimes on her own, family members said.
Then, about 15 years ago, according to her sister, she opened a private practice in her Chevy Chase home, in a quiet neighborhood just up the street from the stables of Rock Creek Regional Park.
"She always gave more than she took," said a son, John Hadl, 34, who said his mother was an avid hiker who climbed parts of the Himalaya and Andes mountains.
"She took joy in helping others." Hadl added. "The sad thing is that she was helping someone, and because of her help. . . . "
His voice trailed off.
"The family is just shocked that something like this could happen," he said.
Two parked police cruisers have been a constant presence outside the house since Saturday. On Sunday, investigators loaded bags of possible evidence into large white vans.
The investigation gained momentum about 5:30 p.m. Monday when Sachs and Greenberg drove past Hadl's house in the Ford Crown Victoria, according to court papers. Officers who were at the house flagged down Sachs and Greenberg, and both agreed to talk with investigators, the documents state. They said Greenberg was carrying a key to Hadl's car and could not give officers a satisfactory explanation why.
Sachs was arrested a short time later. Greenberg was arrested yesterday, then hospitalized briefly after he complained of chest pains.
In Westminster, neighbors said Kaufman and his father lived in the family farmhouse, a gray-and-white, two-story wood home with red shutters. There are several buildings on the farm, including at least five shed-like structures.
"Kaufman buried Joyce Hadl inside a shed behind the house," police said in an affidavit. "The garbage he disposed of at the Carroll County trash dump. . . . For his services, Kaufman was paid $250."
Staff writers Susan Levine and Miranda Spivack and Metro researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.