In a Shallow grave dug in a field of an Eastern Shore farm, Maryland State Police today found the partially clad body of 9-year-old William Russell Marine Jr., missing from his home near here since Saturday. He had been stabbed several times in the back, police said.
"Rusty" Marine had been the second Salisbury area boy to disappear in the past three months. On the morning of July 28. Troy William Krause, 10, left his parents' trailer on his way to a friend's house close by; he never arrived. Police found his bicycle 150 yards from his home. No trace of the boy has been found.
State police refused today to link the two cases. However, they acknowledged that a man in his mid-40s is being questioned as a suspect in the Marine boy's murder - a man who police say first "came to the attention of investigators during the (Krause) investigation."
The suspect, who according to police sources has a prior record of criminal offenses involving children, was taken into custody today after police located Marine's body.
Police would not say today whether the boy had been sexually assaulted. Neither were the preliminary findings of the state medical examiner released.
Police also refused to speculate whether either the Marine case or the disappearance of the Krause boy were linked to the unsolved number of a 10-year-old Virginia Beach boy, David Jackson Bennett, on Virginia's Eastern Shore in July. The bennet child disappeared while visiting his grandmother in Cape Charles, some 75 miles southg of Salisbury.
The boy's decomposed body was found three days after he disappeared, six miles from his grandmother's home. He had been strangled, police said.
On Sunday, more than 30 officers using dogs and a police helicopter, had [WORD ILLEGIBLE] near the Naylor Milk Tracter Mark, where the boy had lived.
Later they watched the search to areas since suspects in the case weere known to have lived," state police [WORD ILLEGIBLE] William E. Clark said yesterday.
The farm [WORD ILLEGIBLE]was found is 10 miles west of the trailer park in the small town of Mardela Springs near the Wicorsico River. [LINE ILLEGIBLE]
As the news of the Marine child's slaying spread through this town of 15,500 today, members of the Krause family were struggling to keep from [WORD ILLEGIBLE] the hope which they have held onto since July.
"We've tried to keep our hopes up," said Diana Krause mother of 10-year-old Tony and four other children. "But boy, today really threw us.
"The hard thing's been not knowing anything . . ." she said tonelessly, staring across the trailer's small living room. Her husband George, picked up the sentence "Until you get close to a situation like this that is.
"Th en you don't know if you want to know or not," Krause said.
The trailer park where the Krause family lives located in a wooded area along Johnson Road where the southern outskirts of Salisbury give way to the woods and open fields of the country. It is some seven miles southeast - all the way across town - from the trailer park where the Marines live.
The area around the Marines' trailer was filled with cars today. Neighbors and friends, the women weeping quietly, came in twos and threes to sit with the family. In the area around their homes an area usually crowded with children, not a child was to be seen.
It was the same, Judy Taylor a local resident remembered when Troy Krause disappeared Taylor frequently passed by the Johnson Road trailer park, home of the Krauses, which is located less than two miles from her own home. "That area's always crowded there must be 50 kids in that vicinity as a rule," she said. "The day the Krause boy disappeared last summer, it was empty."
Since then, she said the sense of mystery and the suggestion of tragedy have been om most residents' minds. "Everywhere you go, you see a picture of the Krause boy, you see the missing person poster. It's in downtown stores, in malls, in convenience stores. You can't forget it," she said.
Taylor's own 5-year-old son, who was allowed to sleep out in his own backyrard for the first time the night before Tony Krause disappeared, has not been allowed to sleep out since, "He doesn't really understand it even though I've tried to explain, "Taylor said.
A key break in the investigation of the Marine boy's disappearance apparently came today when police checked into reports that a blue automobile was seen in suspicious circumstances around the time the Marine youth disappeared.
The car fit the description of a car seen "during the Krause case," state police spokesman Clark said today. He added that the suspicious car had been sen in the Mardela Springs area after Rusty Marine's disappearance, leading investigators to search there.