Kristal Huffines and Amber Thompson, both 16, were placed in a county armored personnel carrier along with Syaria Shell, 5, shortly after gunfire faded down the street.
Police said the sitters were trapped inside the house because the child's
mother, Melissa, 22, had hired them to watch her child late Friday afternoon
while she attended a St. Patrick's Day celebration.
When it came time to return home, Mrs. Shell could not get past the police
and into the area around the Lange Street house considered vulnerable to
gunfire. The mother kept in constant telephone contact with the two teen-agers
and her daughter until their rescue last night.
Said the youngster after being reunited with her mother: "It wasn't fun.
But it was fun riding in the thing."
Officials, residents and police have marveled at Palczynski's endurance. He
has eluded authorities for nearly two weeks, and for several days has been in
constant touch with police over the phone.
Asked last night the last time the fugitive had slept, Toohey said: "At
this point, we don't know for sure."
Toohey said negotiators are talking to Palczynski in shifts.
Experts warn that sleep deprivation can make a person increasingly
irritable and that judgment fades with energy.
"As it goes over 48 hours, the likelihood [of sleep] is pretty big," said
Morris Bird, a neurologist and co-director of Florida Hospital's sleep
disorder center. "It's just almost impossible to stay awake continuously
beyond 36 or 48 hours without major stimulation.
Palczynski, 31, has eluded police since March 7, when police say he
abducted Tracy Whitehead at the Bowleys Quarters home of Gloria Jean Shenk,
50, and her 49-year-old husband, George Shenk, where Whitehead had gone after
an argument with Palczynski.
Police say Palczynski dragged Whitehead, 22, from the Shenk's apartment at
Town and Country Bowleys Quarters Apartments, and shot and killed the Shenk
couple and David M. Meyers, a neighbor who attempted to assist the struggling
Palczynski also allegedly shot and killed Jennifer McDonel, 37, during an
attempted carjacking the next night.
While authorities fanned out in Baltimore County and southern Harford
County searching for the fugitive, Palczynski had slipped into Virginia,
probably by train, and stole guns and cash from a house and forced a man to
drive him back to eastern Baltimore County, police said.
After officials learned that Palczynski -- who has a history of violence
toward women and suffers from a bi-polar mental condition -- had returned to
Baltimore County, they intensified their search in the Middle River, Chase and
Baltimore County had help from the FBI, Maryland State Police and other
agencies in their hunt for the suspect, a skilled outdoorsman and crack shot.
Hundreds of police used helicopters with infrared capabilities, dogs and a
robot in the search, but could not find him.
He re-emerged Friday, when the Dundalk hostage situation began.
Sun staff writers Laura Barnhardt, Nancy A. Youssef, Tim Craig and Kurt
Streeter and the Orlando Sentinel contributed to this article.
Scattered shots, tense talks
Negotiations enter third day in Dundalk hostage standoff; 'Patience' is watchword; Police lights shot out, armored car's tires flattened
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