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Talk of the Town: Deaths of Women, Children

AFRO.com, News Report, Dorothy Rowley Posted: Mar 31, 2009

While police in the District of Columbia grapple with the stabbing deaths last weekend of a mother and her two young sons, authorities in Prince Georges County continue to be baffled over two separate murder cases in which two mothers and their daughters were victims, as well as an incident involving a baby girl found inside a plastic bag floating on a lake.

In the mother -daughter cases, one dates back to late January, while the other occurred two weeks ago.

However, Prince Georges police while considering the possibility that a serial killer could be on the prowl or that more than one person is involved -- are looking for other possible links in the deaths of Delores Dewitt, 42, and her 19-year-old daughter, Ebony; and Karen Lofton, 45, and her 16-year-old daughter, Karissa.

All four victims were found in the same Largo, Md., neighborhood. Mourners have set up a memorial for Ebony Dewitt at the home where she and her mother lived.

So far, It doesnt appear to be a serial killer. The manner of deaths is different; it is not indicative of a serial killer, Andy Ellis of the Prince Georges County police was quoted over the weekend by ABC7 News.

In one finding, reports state that the medical examiner noted that evidence in the Dewitt deaths suggests that one of the women died in close physical contact with her attacker and that the manner in which she died has led police to believe that more than one attacker was involved.

The bodies of the Dewitt women were discovered around 3:40 a.m. March 16, after firefighters put out a blaze inside a car. The vehicle, which had been stolen from a home a few blocks away, was found in the driveway of an empty house, according to police.

Police say the Dewitt womens deaths share similarities with the Lofton pair who were found shot to death. In both incidents, the adult victims were nurses, single mothers and apparently killed along with their teenage daughters.

With the[latest] case, were going back to the first case and maybe ask questions we didnt think of in the first case, Prince Georges County police Maj. Andrew Ellis told the media over the weekend.

It also gives us a point of reference to move forward to see what similarities may exist.

Meanwhile, Prince Georges Police Chief Roberto Hylton has ordered a special task force to investigate the two cases.

In addition, police are offering rewards of $25,000 each in the two double murders and asking neighbors in the community where the women were found to be on the lookout for a black Cadillac which may be linked to the murders.

In the case of the infant, police are searching for the person responsible for leaving the body in Lake Artemesia in Prince Georges County.

The discovery was made around 3 p.m. Sunday by two fishermen. Police say they arent sure how long the body had been in the water.

An autopsy was scheduled that police are counting on to reveal the age of the child and cause of death.

"Apparently some guys were out there fishing and they saw the bag," said Prince George's County police spokesman Larry Johnson. "They tried to fish the bag out of the water, and found that it was an infant.

The case is also being investigated by the Maryland National Capital Police.

In another case in the District, police announced over the weekend they had charged the live-in boyfriend of a woman who was found with stab wounds, along with her two young sons.

According to reports, all three victims were found Saturday in the familys apartment in the 2000 block of Maryland Ave. in northeast D.C.

Erika Peters, 37, and one of her sons were already dead when police broke into the home. Another son died later. The children were identified in reports as Erik Harper, 11, and Dakota Peters, 10.

A third child, a two-year-old girl found in the apartment, was not harmed.

Police have charged Joseph Randolph Mays, 44, in the triple slaying, which they said evolved from a domestic dispute.

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