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Murder of elderly Baltimore man still unsolved a year later

A year ago Saturday, Evelyn Scott-Palmer returned home from picking up her lunch to find her husband lying unresponsive on the cellar floor.

Sterling Palmer, 78, had suffered multiple stab wounds. He died that day, and family members say they have not been able to find closure because his murder remains unsolved.

"I miss him," Scott-Palmer said. "He was my best friend."

Now family and friends are hoping the offer of a $4,000 reward will draw new attention to the case and yield tips that could help find the killer. While earlier leads appeared encouraging, Baltimore police said none have panned out.

More than 30 family members, friends and neighbors held a vigil Saturday evening in front of Scott-Palmer's house in the 2600 block of Edison Highway, next to the Erdman Shopping Center.

Those gathered tearfully shared their memories of Palmer, sang hymns and recited a prayer. Each held a white taper, and several people were handing out fliers detailing the cash reward for information leading to an arrest and felony indictment.

"Someone had to have seen something," Scott-Palmer said in a brief interview earlier in the day as she readied to visit Palmer's grave at King Memorial Park in Woodlawn. "[No matter] how small it may be, please call someone. You don't know if it may lead to something."

Tracey Brown, Palmer's niece, said finding her uncle's killer would give the family some measure of closure. Family and friends still believe that Palmer let in someone he knew — someone who was aware that he carried up to $300 in his pants pocket and who knew that he freely lent money to friends — while his wife was gone for 20 minutes.

"Getting a resolution would help the family, especially my aunt, because they've been together for so long," Brown said.

Palmer met Evelyn Scott in 1959 when he was a motorman for the No. 15 trolley, which traveled along Gay Street. Evelyn Scott was a passenger, heading from her home in East Baltimore to a baby-sitting job on Frankford Avenue when Palmer asked her, "Was my husband married?"

The answer was no and the two stayed together for the next 51 years before marrying 11 years ago. Last Wednesday would have been their wedding anniversary, Brown said.

Despite what happened at their home, Evelyn Scott-Palmer, 71, has remained there.

"I decided to stay here because I felt like they took him from me and I would never let them take the good memories we had in this house," she said. "I refuse to let them take everything from me."

Still, the widow says it's been a rough year.

Brown, too, said the family feels the loss, especially during the holidays. Palmer is survived by two sisters, a former wife and several children from his first marriage.

"It's like it just happened as far as I'm concerned," Scott-Palmer said. "I will never be right. It's something that won't go away."

Finding her husband's killer, though, would "make me feel better that someone would pay for it."

Anyone with information concerning this murder is asked to call Baltimore police homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.

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