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Irvin Bradley, city detective, dies

Colleges and UniversitiesHomicideJohn GilmoreMorgan State University

Irvin Bradley, a decorated retired Baltimore City homicide detective who had worked on some of the city's most publicized cases, died of heart disease Wednesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The West Baltimore resident was 55.

A native of Sumter, S.C., Irvin C. Bradley moved to Baltimore as a youngster. He was a 1974 Southwestern High School graduate. He attended Morgan State University.

He joined the Baltimore Police Department in early 1979 and was assigned to the Southern District, working in patrol, drug enforcement and vice, as well as with the Police Athletic League. He also played football on police teams.

He also worked with the Cherry Hill Youth Initiative. He joined the Criminal Investigation Division in 1991 and spent 12 years in homicide. During his career, he was awarded seven official commendations, including a commendatory letter, three unit citations and a silver star.

His cases included the 1999 execution-style slayings of five women in a rowhouse. He was the lead detective in the killing of three Mexican children on Park Heights Avenue in 2004.

Friends said the slaying of the children was perhaps Mr. Bradley's most emotional case. He spent days on the Baltimore Circuit Court's witness stand during two trials, the first of which ended in a mistrial.

Mr. Bradley told the jury that after seeing the bodies of the children, "I actually prayed."

"He was very diligent in that investigation," said a close friend, Lt. Lenny Willis. "He was very instrumental in bringing it to a successful conclusion. He was very kind and giving, and was a great mentor to a lot of young detectives and to a lot of young police officers. They were always going to him for direction and for advice. In his squad, he was always in charge, because he could be counted on."

Mr. Bradley retired from the city force in June 2009 and had been working with the city sheriff's department.

He enjoyed music and followed football and basketball. He belonged to the Vanguard Justice Society.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Vaughn C. Greene Funeral Services, 8728 Liberty Road. A wake precedes the service.

Survivors include his wife of 30 years, the former Margaret Timberlake; daughters Angel Bradley of Atlanta and Brittany Bradley and Destine McKelvie of Baltimore; three brothers, John Gilmore, Roach Simmons and William Smoot, and two sisters, Oneida Jennings and Olean Gilmore, all of Baltimore.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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