Twenty-four hours after Baltimore County Police discovered the bodies of Alicia Lee Avery, 25, and her daughter, Darry'el Parker, 4, dead of apparent homicide in their Parkville apartment, work crews late Tuesday afternoon were piling black garbage bags of their belongings into unmarked white trucks.
Neighbors in the Welcome Inn Extended Stay Apartments complex, on Loch Bend Drive, watched from a distance, capping a long day at the complex of police activity, media inquiries and, finally, the cleaning crews.
Amid the day's bustle, in the stairwell of the complex, someone had left a small teddy bear, a flower and votive candle.
"She wasn't outspoken, didn't cause any problems," said Michael Chambers, 55, who lives in the complex in a unit across from Avery's.
"I've seen her several times," he said of Avery, "walking around with her baby."
The mother and child were discovered by police at about 4:15 p.m. Monday.
"We do suspect foul play, and they are being investigated as homicides," said county police spokeswoman Det. Cathy Batton.
No cause of death had not been announced by Tuesday evening, and no arrests had been made, but the day saw several new revelations in the case — namely that Avery had been reportedly been at Welcome Inn because she was a witness in a murder case in Baltimore City
The Baltimore Sun reported that city law enforcement sources said Avery was a witness in an investigation of a March murder in the city, and had been cooperating with police.
Batton confirmed to The Sun that the victim had been located to the apartment by city police — and also said county police were unaware Avery and her daughter were at the apartment.
Several neighbors of Avery told the Towson Times that Avery hadn't been at the complex long and mostly kept to herself.
They also told the Times that Avery was pregnant at the time of her death. Batton did not return calls from the Times seeking confirmation, but she told The Sun that police are waiting for pregnancy test results from the medical examiner's office.
Autopsies are being performed, Batton said.
The reason police checked on Avery and her daughter on Monday were unclear — Batton said she wasn't sure who had called police — but when their bodies were discovered, Avery and her daughter hadn't been seen for a few days, Batton said.
"I just want to put my daughter to rest," Darryl D. Parker, the child's father, told The Sun in an interview at his home in North Baltimore on Tuesday. "I just want my baby."
Parker told The Sun that his daughter stayed with him weekends and occasionally during the week. He said Avery and Darry'el had been staying in the Loch Bend Drive apartment since around March, and that his relationship with Avery ended several years ago.
The last time he saw his daughter was on Father's Day, Parker said. Darry'el turned 4 on May 22, and attended Head Start, he told The Sun.
"She was just amazing," Parker was quoted as saying. "She was so smart. She was just amazing."
At the Loch Bend apartments on Tuesday evening, resident Joe Brown, 49, said that he had been getting ready to leave for work when he saw the fire department and paramedics arrive Monday.
"When the ambulance left and the detectives came," he said, "I knew something was up."
Chambers recalled how Darry'el and other children around the complex would often play outside with his cat, a sight that Brown said was common.
"I always saw the child running around with the other children," Brown said. "It's a shock."
But the end of the day, cleaning crews were finishing up. Even the makeshift memorial was gone — the teddy bear was nowhere in sight, the candle had been knocked to one side and leaves from the flower were all that was left.
This story has been updated.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun