Murder suspect 'always smiling, always laughing'

Rushing Stream Court, in the rural, upscale Morning Brook development off of Morse Road, was quiet and snow-covered Thursday afternoon.

The tranquil, newly-built development seemed an unlikely site for a murder, and the man charged in the killing seemed just as much an likely candidate to commit such a crime.

On Wednesday evening, the street had been abuzz with police lights and yellow tape as Harford County Sheriff's deputies stayed busy investigating the homicide of Joy Ojiabo and, later, searching for the suspect, her 20-year-old son.

Isaac Ojiabo Jr. was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with first- and second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his 51-year-old mother.

On Thursday, a handful of cars were parked in the Ojiabos' driveway. Several residents who were home around lunchtime declined to comment on the incident.

Those who knew him said Ojiabo didn't seem like someone who would stab his mother.

Ojiabo graduated from Fallston High School in 2011, the Harford County Public Schools spokeswoman Lindsay Bilodeau confirmed Thursday.

Before attending Fallston High School, Ojiabo spent his freshman year at Western School of Technology and Education in Catonsville, according to Victor Olalekan, who has known Ojiabo since childhood.

Olalekan, a student at the University of Maryland College Park, said the pair, who both grew up in the Gwyn Oak area of Baltimore County, attended Edmondson Elementary School and Western Tech together.

"He lived fairly close; sometimes him and his sister would ride their bikes over to my house when we were young," Olalekan said.

Olalekan said that in elementary school, he was on the school's Black Saga team, a grade school competition about the African American experience, with Ojiabo and Ojiabo's twin sister.

He said he remembers seeing Ojiabo's parents at the different Black Saga competitions. He said there never seemed to be any tension in the family.

"I was really shocked to read about the domestic disputes," Olalekan said.

Olalekan said he interacted with Ojiabo daily in fourth and fifth grade, since they had classes together.

At Western Tech, Ojiabo played on the school's football team, Olalekan said.

Olalekan said Ojiabo was always smiling and loved to dance, especially Baltimore club dances.

"He was always smiling and always laughing," Olalekan said. "He liked to act like a clown and he was always cracking jokes. He never had any problems with anyone."

As Olalekan remembers it, Ojiabo never got into any fights in elementary or high school.

"Honestly, this whole event doesn't make sense to me because he's really the nicest guy you would ever meet," Olalekan said.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad