Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Four killed in Lanham home: Police

Washington Post Editors

Two women and two children were found dead in filthy and deplorable living conditions above the garage of a Lanham home early Friday morning, police said. (See a Post video from the scene.)

Officials talk outside the residence. (Juana Arias/Post)

The children were both under the age of six, according to authorities. Prince George's Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton said all four were killed, but he did not say how. Two law enforcement sources said all four people were shot.

Hylton said the slayings were not random and that the killer knew the residents of the house.

The chief declined to speculate on a motive. But two law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said a large amount of marijuana was found in the apartment,

Police were first called to a home in the 6800 block of 3rd Street shortly after 2:40 a.m. for a reported assault, said Cpl. Mike Rodriguez, a Prince George's County police spokesman.

Officers found the four dead in a structure detached from the main home. It had no running water, toilets or air conditioning and was littered with trash and debris. Hylton said the living conditions "disgusted" him."It was like a landfill inside a home," he said. In additon to the trash, he said there was human feces in containers.

Donald Shell, the chief medical officer for Prince Georges County, joined dozens of law enforcement officials, at the crime scene, where about 50 police cadets were combing through the property looking for evidence.

"If any child or family members are living in uninhabital conditions we want to investigate," Shell said.

A blue van was towed from the scene and large trash truck was there to cart off the filthy contents from the property.

"We found evidence of conditions in this building that are unsanitary and unfit for living," Shell said. "There is evidence of rodents and we were concerned for the safety of our police investigating this scene."

The police cadets were slowed because of the conditions of the property. Police officials are wearing safety gloves and boots. Some are in masks.

No citations have ever been issued against the owner of the property and no complaints had been filed, Shell said. He added they rely on the public to notify them.

Hylton said police are questioning several people as part of their investigation, but he declined to say whether any were suspects.

Officers work the scene in Lanham. (Juana Arias/Post)

Police found four bodies during the course of their investigation, he said. They were found in a detached garage that had an apartment of sorts above it. The living conditions there were deplorable. The area around the home has been closed by police, and most of the people attempting to enter the area have been turned away.

The home sits on a block populated by single-family homes on large lots in a community known as Wildercroft.

This item has been updated since it was first posted.

-- Matt Zapotosky and Hamil R. Harris


House where the bodies were found was in filthy condition, police said. (Juana Arias/Post)

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

Locator map

Neighborhood where bodies found

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 6, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Homicide , Matt Zapotosky , Pr. George's  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: A 'horrific scene' in Md.
Next: Four separate trials in Betts slaying


The area is actually outside the City of New Carrollton . It is in East Riverdale or what is known as Wildercroft.

Posted by: OlSloaner | August 6, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I believed for the longest that this area was considered Lanham. As far as the zones are concerned, this is New Carrollton..I've been calling in Lanham for years!

Posted by: DMVinsider | August 6, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why a DC police cruiser is on the scene? I thought this happened in PG County?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | August 6, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

That is a very good question. All of the others appear to be County vehicles. If I'm seeing correctly, the MPD cruiser looks like a Special Operations K-9 unit. Very curious... Are DC officers allowed to take their cruisers home (outside of the city)?

Posted by: N888 | August 6, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

according to google maps street view, looks like 6834 3rd Street, Riverdale, MD 20737

Posted by: seriesoftubescleaner | August 6, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The weekend starts early in PeeGeeCee!

Posted by: ronjaboy | August 6, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

If the address they are using is correct it is near the former Wildercroft Town Hall (which has not been used for that purpose in over 20 years).
It is right on the zip code border of Riverdale, New Carrollton and Lanham.
(I grew up in that area.)

Posted by: OlSloaner | August 6, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I live in this area and have been for almost 16 years..I always called this Lanham, I went to Parkdale & Carrollton Elem. Riverdale, Lanham, whatever...its still to close to home for me!

Posted by: DMVinsider | August 6, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Too Close Indeed!

The area called Wildercroft is fairly old. Some of the homes are over 100 years old I can remember it being rather rural (though that was nearly 50 years ago)
There was even a Wildercroft Elementary School once upon a time

Posted by: OlSloaner | August 6, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

4 people dead and all y'all can talk about is what the area should be designated?

Talk about being removed from reality....

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 6, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened the fact that four are dead is tragic. Right now, We don't know much, other than the general area where it happened.

If someone closer to reality has anything significant to add please don't hesitate.

Posted by: OlSloaner | August 6, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in that area and even had a freind that lived about a block from there. Occassionally, I'll ride through that area to see my parents old house and it's absolutely depressing. They could film an episode of "Life Without Humans" there because most homes there are no longer maintained and left in various states of disrepair since the former residents (that cared enough to maintain their homes) moved out. It's been turned into a cesspool now.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | August 6, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Matt, are you a cub reporter? Read this sentence: "Prince George's Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton said all four were killed in a Friday press conference..." So, were the people killed at the press conference??? Did you witness it? LOLROF

Posted by: rpcv84 | August 6, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Uhh yeah. Four people were killed. Or does that even register with people these days? Who cares about the Zip Code or city boundaries?

Posted by: PepperDr | August 6, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Uhh yeah. Four people were killed. Or does that even register with people these days? Who cares about the Zip Code or city boundaries?

People in the DC Metro Area have become desensitized - this is PG County. People take notice when there is NOT a report of rape, murder, suicide, or assault.

Posted by: asmith1 | August 6, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Uhh yeah. Four people were killed. Or does that even register with people these days? Who cares about the Zip Code or city boundaries?

People in the DC Metro Area have become desensitized - this is PG County. People take notice when there is NOT a report of rape, murder, suicide, or assault.

Posted by: asmith1 | August 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

These comments are such bull shiggedy...just say what you want to might as well...I can read between the lines...I can't wait to get my family out of the DMV. That goes for DC, MD, AND all stinks!! [the people I mean]

Posted by: nancyholly | August 6, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

PepperDr, I understand your concern, but the comments questioning what the area should be called are a BIG improvement over what we usually see in a story involving death or crime, particularly in Prince George's.... as I'm sure our fellow commenters will soon demonstrate.

Posted by: Rachelva | August 6, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

You're right Dr. Pepper, I have seen worse!

Posted by: nancyholly | August 6, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Neighbors look out for neighbors, why didn't someone pick up the telephone and call the police about the living conditions of these women and children? I don't know what goes through the minds of people when you see people living like this.

Posted by: sun52shine | August 6, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

OK, we'll assume that being "disgusted by the living conditions" encompasses THE SCENE OF A QUADRUPLE HOMICIDE! Geez.

Posted by: signof4 | August 6, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments, as usual about where something occurred, especially murder.

To Maryland residents, your car tag says "Maryland" not Montgomery or Prince Georges or Anne Arundel or Charles. Because you live in Maryland.

This crime happened in YOUR state regardless of the county. Those outside of the DC area recently read about YOUR STATE being top 10 in murder rates, and the readers don't care what county they happen in more.

This area: Crime happens in YOUR state, point to the county. Happens in YOUR county, point to the part of the county. Happens in YOUR part of the county, point to what side of the street it happened.
Too funny to see this play out each week around here. LOL

Posted by: kedavis | August 6, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The weekend starts early in PeeGeeCee!

Posted by: ronjaboy

Welcome back, girlfried!

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 6, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The weekend starts early in PeeGeeCee!

Posted by: ronjaboy

Welcome back, girlfriend!

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 6, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

If my house was that dirty I'd want someone to shoot me too.

Posted by: nuke41 | August 6, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The NRA s says such occurrences are just collateral damage where firearms are in play.

"And anyway," said an NRA employee who spoke off-the-record because she was not authorized to talk to the media, "this is Prince George's County, after all. We hear about these things about every day."

Posted by: kinkysr | August 6, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

These children may have had no idea what was happening. How could anyone use a gun to kill two children? This had to be a heartless thug who I hope is caught real soon. The condition of the room pretty much says the women were drug users. The killer was probably their drug pusher. The scenario is sad, but probably true. May God bless them.

Posted by: skinfreak | August 6, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Could also possibly be women held against their will.

Posted by: RickJohnson621 | August 6, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope that they find the killer very soon. He needs to pay for what he did to this family. Either give him death or life without parole. GOD bless and guide those that knew this family. This murder is sinceless and horrible. I will never understand the way some people think. I just hope that this family wasn't tortured.

Posted by: Cherokee316 | August 6, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

this is terrible and it's way too close to home. I want to hear more details to know what the danger is. I keep hearing how crime rates have dropped in the county, and then I turn around and read about stabbings at Le Fountaine Bleu one week, and a quadruple murder just up the road from there the next week.

Posted by: mkb8530 | August 6, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Checkered1 -- what is your point? i'm white and i've live and raised my kids for the past 24 years just a couple miles from this location. And I've yet to hear if the victims were white, black, hispanic, or whatever. the county itself is racially very diverse. the fact of the matter is that the crime rate is horrific no matter who lives there.

Posted by: mkb8530 | August 6, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Jack Johnson's 'Gorgeous Prince Georges'....

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 6, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes the living conditions were terrible. As one poster pointed out, maybe the women and children were held there against their will. Or maybe this was a case of live there or be homeless.

Posted by: sjrcpa | August 6, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

By weird coincidence, I had an encounter with a motorist with an African appearance and accent, at the intersection of Sligo and Fenton Streets in Silver Spring yesterday morning. He was making a left turn against the light as I wanted to cross Fenton, and he nearly hit me, yelling at me to get my "ass back." I was so shocked and upset that I neglected to get a good description, but I thought about what it must be like for the women he knows. It's the second time I've had an African or Caribbean immigrant driver berate me as a pedestrian.

Posted by: april3 | August 6, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

No one should die this way regardless of being a drug user or having a dirty home. Something must have went wrong a long time ago, everyone has a story and so too do these victims. Please don't cast judgment for it is only by the Grace of God that this is not you. The heartless comments are concerning. How would you feel if this were your daughter,mother,or child. Please think about the victims family, friends and loved ones when posting comments. I knew the victim and she was not a bad person.
To the family I wish you comfort, healing, and closure. May God be with you all...

Posted by: faithfully | August 9, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company