The Washington Post

Md. man wanted in grandparents’ slayings hospitalized in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY — A Maryland man wanted in the slayings of his grandparents near Baltimore was hospitalized Tuesday in Oklahoma City after what police say was an apparent suicide attempt.

A hospital spokeswoman said Matthew Charles Long, 31, was in fair condition after being brought to the hospital Sept. 11 from Weatherford, where he was found in a hotel room with what a police search warrant described as a drug overdose and a note stating, “I’m sorry for what I did.”

Weatherford is about 70 miles west of Oklahoma City.

Long is wanted in Baltimore County in the deaths of Vaughn George Pepper, 87, and Marjorie Marie Pepper, 85, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Monday by Oklahoma City police that sought fingernail clippings and blood samples from Long.

Vaughn George Pepper, who is identified as George Vaughn Pepper in the affidavit, was a retired Maryland State Police trooper.

It was not known if Long had an attorney, Baltimore County Cpl. Cathy Batton said.

“Due to his hospitalization we haven’t been able to complete our investigation or interview him,” Batton said.

Officers conducting a welfare check found the Peppers Sept. 10 in their home in Pikesville, in suburban Baltimore. Out-of-state relatives of the Peppers had contacted police.

Long, who police said lived with the victims, was later captured on a Pikesville bank’s surveillance video driving the Pepper’s missing car while withdrawing money from the bank.

Both victims suffered trauma to their heads and a weapon believed used in the crime was recovered from the home, according to the affidavit. Police have declined to identify the weapon.

An autopsy by the Maryland state medical examiner ruled manner of deaths to be homicide, the affidavit said, but Batton declined to comment on the suspected causes of the deaths or a motive for the slayings.

“We haven’t even gotten an opportunity to speak to [Long] because of his medical condition so it would be premature to speculate at this point,” Batton said.

Batton said it was not known how long it would take to start the process to extradite Long due to his hospitalization.

“At this point our investigation is entirely dependent on his medical condition,” Batton said.


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