Aberdeen homeless deaths

Janet Peters, left, mother of George Woodrow, sits with her granddaughter Carliy Woodrow, daughter of George, during Thursday night's vigil in Aberdeen. Mr. Woodrow, who had been homeless, died last week as did another person who had been living in an encampment in Aberdeen. (MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF, Homestead Publishing / January 31, 2012)

A group of 50 to 60 people gathered in downtown Aberdeen Thursday evening to remember two homeless people who died last Friday after they were found unresponsive in a tent at an encampment in the woods on the city's east side.

Standing near the corner of Franklin and Parke streets near the library, city hall and festival park, the group included members of the clergy, advocates for the homeless and mental health, families and friends of the two dead people and other homeless people.

Police say they don't believe foul play was involved in the deaths of Tameka R. Hooker, 28, and George W. Woodrow, 32, who were pronounced dead at Harford Memorial Hospital shortly after they arrived by ambulance from an Aberdeen homeless encampment on Jan. 20.

Several sources have said the two likely died either from exposure or carbon monoxide poisoning.


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Thursday's vigil was held outside SPIN, Inc., which stands for Support Peer Independence Now, part of an organization that advocates and educates about mental illness and provides support services in the community.

The group sang songs and a few people talked about Ms. Hooker and Mr. Woodrow. It rained lightly about halfway through the gathering. Some coats, shoes and other articles of clothing were put out for those in need.

The vigil was organized by Giving Hope Ministries in Aberdeen. Barbara Hawkins, director evangelist with Giving Hope, said earlier in the week that Ms. Hooker and Mr. Woodrow were known to the ministry and frequently used its program that feeds the homeless. Hawkins son, Vasie Edwards, also said he had known the two for many years.