"I know my boys were not violent, I know they were not disrespectful," Alston said. "Tariq had trespassing but, they were nonviolent [charges]."

Mr. Alston had several contacts with the criminal justice system in Harford County, including several convictions for trespassing and a conviction for possession of a drug other than marijuana.

Anyone with information about Mr. Alston's murder is asked to contact Det. Paul Marziale at 410-836-5080.

Burgess


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It was a warm, summer evening in August with people outside enjoying the day, Staniewicz said of Aug. 6, 2010. Behind closed doors, however, Deborah Elaine Burgess, 52, was breathing her last.

As in the Alston case, police feel community involvement could help investigators find a killer.

Between 9 p.m. and 11 Aug. 6, 2010, someone stabbed and killed Ms. Burgess inside her home in the 1500 block of Clearview Drive in Street. Her death was reported the next day.

Detectives believe it's possible that someone in the community heard or saw something, however innocuous, that could help in the investigation.

"We need the community to come forward on that," Staniewicz said. "We feel very strongly someone saw or heard something at Ms. Burgess's trailer."

Staniewicz said even something that appears to have no meaning could help police.

"They know what's normal in their neighborhood and what's out of place," Staniewicz said.

Verzi said sometimes information that is common knowledge to people in the community is something investigators may not know.

Staniewicz said there is no indication her death was related to illegal criminal activity.

"There's a lot of theories and you have to work through that," Staniewicz said.

Anyone with information about Ms. Burgess' murder is asked to contact Det. Phil Golden at 410-836-5430

Saunders

The day after Thanksgiving 2009, Brandon Jerome Saunders was found shot to death in a field in the 600 block of Yorkshire Drive in Edgewood, and police have a person of interest in his murder.

On the morning of Nov. 27, 2009, a man left his Edgewood home and discovered Mr. Saunders' body lying in an open area nearby.

The 24-year-old had been shot in the torso and police do not believe his murder was random. Neighbors in the area reported hearing shots fired between 11 p.m. and midnight Thanksgiving night, but no one called 911 to report the shots.

Days later, Cladjour Winfred Way II, 23, was charged with armed carjacking and related charges stemming from an incident Nov. 25, 2009. At Way's bail review hearing a prosecutor indicated Way was a suspect in Mr. Saunders' murder.