Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the son of a 91-year-old woman found stabbed to death in her Northeast Baltimore home was a close friend of her family and called the crime "devastating."
"I have known her son since I was a child — he was close friends with my family, so this is devastating. It's senseless," Rawlings-Blake said at a Thursday morning event. "My hope is that the work that was done, the forensic work, we'll be able to figure out who did this very soon and bring that person to justice."
Family members on Wednesday night identified the victim as 91-year-old Irene Logan. Rawlings-Blake said Logan's son Bill is a family friend who once taught some of her family members how to drive. He's also a community activist in Mid-Govans who helped organize the National Night Out event in that neighborhood on Tuesday night, which Rawlings-Blake attended.
"I just saw him at National Night Out, so to hear the next day that this happened, I was speechless," Rawlings-Blake said.
A police spokesman on Thursday said that only "costume jewelry" had been taken from the ransacked home and that there was no sign of forced entry. Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, who attended an event with Rawlings-Blake, left without taking questions from reporters.
Dozens of distraught family members gathered on a street corner in the 4700 block of Moravia Road and looked up at the stone-sided house on the hill as the woman's body was wheeled out and placed into an unmarked white van.
"How you gonna stop me from seeing my mother?" a man yelled at police officers who were keeping family behind yellow crime-scene tape.
It was less than four hours after Irene Ushry had found her mother on the kitchen floor.
The dead woman's daughter said she came home about 4:30 p.m. and found her mother upon entering. She said she has shared the house with her husband, Frank Ushry, and her mother for about 10 years.
Irene Ushry said her mother was a Baltimore native, had three children and worked as a caretaker for the elderly before she retired decades ago. Before moving to the home on Moravia, the family lived in West Baltimore.
Logan was home alone during the day, Irene Ushry said. A first-floor bedroom had been ransacked, she said, but she did see any sign of forced entry.
Word of Logan's death spread quickly among relatives and friends of the family.
Within three hours, more than 30 people had gathered across Sipple Avenue and watched police officers go in and out of the house. Members of the family's church had gathered and were consoling Logan's relatives in the street.
As twilight set in, camera flashes burst from behind the gauzy curtains on the kitchen windows, as police recorded the crime scene.
The front door stood ajar and from Moravia Road, a painting of the Last Supper could be seen hanging on the wall above the family's dinner table.
Frank Ushry said that their home was broken into and rummaged through about a year ago, but no one was home at the time.
"Every time I think about it, it hurts me," he said of his mother-in-law's death.