Things aren’t going so great in the Largo/Upper Marlboro, MD area lately. With some folks using The Boulevard shopping center as a shooting gallery and now the latest where mothers and daughters are being murdered, what’s a person to do? In January a mother and daughter, Karen and Karissa Lofton, were found murdered in their home in Largo.
By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
A mother and daughter were shot to death early yesterday in their home in a quiet Largo neighborhood, probably by someone who knew them, Prince George’s County police said.
Acting Chief Roberto Hylton said there was no indication of forced entry into the two-story, colonial-style home in the 10800 block of Southall Drive. There was also no indication that anything was stolen, he said.
“This is an isolated incident,” Hylton said. “This is not a serial killer.”
Police identified the victims last night as Karen and Karissa Lofton. They did not give ages or say which was the mother and which was the daughter. Public records list a Karen Lofton, 45, on Southall Drive.
The daughter, believed to be in her teens, called 911 about 2:30 a.m. to report that she and her mother had been shot and needed help, Hylton said. Police arrived and found both victims fatally shot in the upper part of the home, Hylton said.
This past Monday the burning bodies of another mother and daughter, Delores and Ebony Dewitt, were found less than a half a mile from where they found the Loftons.
By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A 911 call about a car on fire led authorities in Prince George’s County to a grisly scene yesterday: the bodies of two women in the car’s trunk and back seat, law enforcement sources said.
Firefighters arrived at a house in the 11100 block of Webbwood Court in Upper Marlboro just before 4 a.m. to find a Toyota Camry in the driveway engulfed in flames, authorities said. When they put the blaze out and examined the vehicle, they found the two bodies, police said.
Officer Larry Johnson, a Prince George’s police spokesman, said the bodies were “so badly burned” that they could not be identified, and that detectives do not have any suspects in the deaths. He said the car was stolen from a nearby house in the 10800 block of Woodlawn Boulevard, but its owner and the owner of the house on Webbwood Court appeared to have no connection to the victims.
Johnson said autopsies would be performed.
Bernadine Conrad, 70, said she was asleep about 3:30 a.m. yesterday when she was awakened by what sounded like a bomb. When she looked out her window, she saw the burning car in front of a vacant house next door.
Conrad called 911 and later told detectives that she did not see anyone running from the vacant house before or after the fire.
The incident marks the second time in recent months that two women have been killed in the neighborhood. Police have no information suggesting the cases are connected, Johnson said. At the end of January, a mother and daughter were shot to death in the 10800 block of Southall Drive, less than a half-mile from where the car was found. Police said those two women were probably killed by someone who knew them, but no arrests have been made.
Prince Georges County police are wondering if they’re dealing with a serial killer.
By Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 18, 2009; B01
Prince George’s County police said last night that they are investigating whether the same killer is responsible for two recent double homicides, each of which resulted in the deaths of a mother and her daughter.
At a news conference, police said they have no physical evidence linking the two sets of killings, and the victims appear to have been killed in different ways. Even so, police said they were deeply troubled by similarities between the cases, one in January and one this week.
The bodies were found within a half-mile of each another in a quiet middle-class neighborhood in the Largo area. In each case, the mothers were in their 40s and the daughters were teenagers. The killings took place early in the morning, and each has a possible link to a burglary.
“This is priority one for the department,” said Maj. Andy Ellis, the police department’s head spokesman. “The similarities are very worrisome, very unusual, and they have caused us great concern.”
Chief Roberto Hylton said later: “I don’t want to say we’re working a serial murderer. That’s a possibility, but we’re not there yet.”
The police department formed a task force, and detectives are working in shifts round-the-clock to chase leads. Police announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to arrests in each case.
Ellis said investigators are searching for links between the two families but have found none. The girls attended different schools.
Police asked that residents of the area near the killings not enter their homes if they are burglarized. The task force will examine all burglaries during the past year, starting with those near the killings.
Early Monday, police found two bodies in a burning car, one in the back seat and the other in the trunk. Using dental records, police identified the victims as Dolores DeWitt, 42, and Ebony DeWitt, 19, of the 9700 block of Cedarhollow Lane.
I’m very familiar with the White House Road and Brown Station Road area right of Route 202. You’re talking about a nice peaceful area. It gets very scary when something like this happens in your neck of the woods.
By Aaron C. Davis, Avis Thomas-Lester and William Wan
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Inside Prince George’s County police headquarters yesterday, a squad of homicide detectives and nearly a dozen other senior investigators moved into a separate office, closed the door and began poring over two cases that were suddenly the department’s top priority.
Not far away, in a quiet neighborhood near FedEx Field, all anyone talked about was the possibility that the cases — two double homicides — were connected, that someone is killing mothers and their daughters.
The Loftons, Karen and Karissa, were the first, shot in late January in their Largo home. On Monday, less than a half-mile away, the bodies of Deloris and Ebony Dewitt were found in a burning car, one in the trunk, the other in the back seat.
“To me, the feeling is there’s just got to be some kind of connection,” said Michael Jeter, 45, a neighbor of the Dewitts. “It just makes you think, two daughters, two mothers, killed like that.”
Near where the Dewitts lived, in an aging subdivision of modest homes and carefully tended lawns, many residents left their porch lights on all night. Neighbors who were little more than strangers exchanged phone numbers and pledged to look out for each other. One man tried to break into his own home, just to see whether it could be done.
“Everybody in this neighborhood is in fear right now,” said William Mackall, 62, who lives several blocks from the Dewitt home. “I have kids, but thank God, just boys, no girls.”
At a news conference Tuesday night, police said they could not rule out the possibility that a serial killer was responsible for the slayings. No physical evidence linked the killings, but police said the parallels were disturbing and went beyond proximity: In each case, the mothers were in their 40s and the daughters were teenagers. They were found dead early in the morning, on a Monday.
One other commonality that emerged yesterday — Karen Lofton, 45, and Deloris Dewitt, 43, were both nurses — appeared to be coincidence, police said. Lofton had just finished her first day of orientation to be a school nurse in Largo. Dewitt had worked at a nursing home in Clinton for nine years.
Here’s more info from the Prince Georges Gazette:
Police believe keys to stolen car used in homicide were stolen weeks before incident
by Liz Skalski and Greg Holzheimer | Staff Writers
Prince George’s County police believe keys to the stolen car involved in the homicide of a Largo mother and daughter may have been stolen weeks earlier. County police are urging residents to call police if they notice keys from their homes have been stolen.
During a packed neighborhood meeting in the cafeteria of Phyllis E. Williams Elementary School, Lt. William Rayle, commander of the county homicide department’s criminal investigative division, said police are following 30 leads regarding the deaths of Delores Renee Dewitt, 42, and Ebony Dewitt, 19, whose bodies were found in a burning car Monday morning.
Police said Thursday evening the two women’s purses are missing, a multi-colored Fossil purse and a black patent leather purse with a large Cadillac emblem in the center.
The car, a light-colored Nissan Maxima sedan, was found within two miles of the Largo home of Karen Lofton, 45, and her 16-year-old daughter, Karissa Lofton, who were found dead Jan. 26, also early on a Monday.
Rayle warned the roughly 100 residents who attended the meeting to make sure their home and car keys are accounted for and to lock windows and doors.
Police found the bodies of Delores Dewitt and her daughter in a stolen car that had been burned in a driveway in the 11100 block of Webbwood Court in Largo, minutes after the car’s owner reported the theft. The owner of the stolen car told police later that day a spare set of keys had been stolen in February from the owner’s Woodlawn Boulevard home, said Officer Evan Baxter, a police spokesman.
I just hope and pray that the police will be able to find the murderer or murderers, lock their asses up and throw away the damn key for life.
My prayers go out to the Lofton and Dewitt families.