Baltimore County Police have charged Brian Lamont Eggleston Jr., 28, with the June 27 murders of Alicia Avery, 25, and her 4-year-old daughter, Darry'el Parker, at the Welcome Inn on Loch Bend Drive.
Police said Wednesday that detectives have determined Avery had been involved in a romantic relationship with Eggleston.
At a press conference at the Baltimore County Public Safety Building in Towson, Chief Jim Johnson of the Baltimore County Police said they believe the homicides were the result of a domestic dispute — not Avery's role in assisting Baltimore City police in a homicide investigation.
Johnson said Wednesday that evidence within the first 12 to 15 hours of the investigation pointed toward a domestic dispute. Witnesses interviewed by police said Avery and Eggleston, who both lived in the apartment at Welcome Inn where the bodies were discovered Monday, had engaged in several domestic arguments since city police relocated Avery to that location, including one late last week.
"We are aware of reports of a domestic argument inside and outside that location several days prior to discovering the bodies," Johnson said. "At this point in time, we're not certain that this is the individual involved in that altercation with the victim. We believe it is."
On June 27 at about 4 p.m., officers arrived at the Welcome Inn to check on the well-being of Avery and her daughter, who hadn't been seen for several days.
Upon entering the apartment, the two victims were discovered dead in a bedroom.
In a press release, police said that autopsies revealed the victims had been shot, and that both deaths were deemed homicides.
An arrest warrant for Eggleston was issued today, charging him with two counts of first degree murder.
Police said they are aware Avery was pregnant at the time of her death, but are awaiting the results of a medical examination. After the medical examiner makes a determination, a third homicide charge could be brought against Eggleston.
Eggleston is currently detained at the Baltimore City Detention Center after being arrested Monday on heroin distribution charges in Baltimore City.
He is being held on $75,000 bail, and the homicide warrants will be served upon his release from custody at that facility.
Maryland court records indicate that Eggleston was charged in 2003 with possession of marijuana with the intent of distribution. For that, Eggleston was sentenced to nine months of supervised probation.
Yesterday, the Baltimore Sun reported that Avery and her daughter had been at the Welcome Inn because she was a witness in a murder case in Baltimore City. According to the Sun, city law enforcement sources said Avery was a witness in an investigation of a March murder in the city, and had been cooperating with police.
However, at Wednesday's new conference, Johnson made it clear that they believe the deaths are not related to her involvement with city police.
Johnson said he called Baltimore City Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III this morning "to confirm with the commissioner of the city that Baltimore County had, in fact, charged an individual, and that it was domestic related, opposed to any activity related to her role in the city court system."
Johnson added that his department confirmed that Avery had been relocated to the county by city police only after being approached by the media, who learned of Avery's involvement from her family members.
"We attempted to clear up that Baltimore County hadn't placed her in that location," Johnson said. "It was a city relocation. It was not witness protection. She was relocated.
"The city is doing it's best to bring individuals to trial," he said. "They're reaching out to witnesses and they're assisting witnesses to relocate during the trial process in some cases."
Johnson and Commissioner Bealefeld had been in communication over the last 48 hours about the case.
While he noted that the circumstances of such a case — including the murder of a young woman and a small child — can have an impact on investigators, Johnson piled praise on his detectives, lab personnel, and others who assisted in bring the case to a swift end.
"The closure of this case within 48 hours is a testament to the quality and skill of this great department," Johnson said.
Jay R. Thompson contributed to this story.