Part two: 'We're trying to figure out what happened ..."

The questions surrounding Amy Metz's death on Jan. 24, 2016 haunt her siblings. How did she die? Why was she left in the snow on Wellesley Court? Why didn't her husband call 911? Deputies from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office were called to the scene in the midst of a blizzard after receiving a 911 call that someone had seen a man dragging what appeared to be a body through the snow just before 4 a.m. Upon arrival, they found Amy Metz's body in the middle of the street. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:24 a.m. She was 43. About an hour later, the deputies encountered her husband, Michael Metz, who was heading toward the part of the road where Amy's body had been found. Michael Metz told deputies his wife was missing, that they had left a party separately and she had never returned home. Through a Public Information Act request, the Carroll County Times obtained the Sheriff's Office investigation reports, including video of their interview with Michael Metz.


After speaking with Michael Metz in the early morning hours of Jan. 24, 2016, then-Cpl. Brandon Holland joined Detective Richard Harbaugh, the lead investigator, to speak with the neighbor who had placed the 911 call and some of the neighbors who attended a party along with the Metzes the previous night.

Holland and Harbaugh spoke with Israel Sacabon, who made the 911 call, and Sacabon's mother, Eleanor Mendoza, who does not speak English. Mendoza told Holland and Harbaugh, through Sacabon, that she had been looking through a front window around 3:45 a.m. when she saw a man dragging something that appeared to be a body. She watched him drop what he was dragging and walk away toward residences on Wellesley Court, according to Harbaugh's narrative.

Mendoza told the detectives that the man never turned toward the house, contrary to her earlier statement to police, and was wearing snow attire. She texted Sacabon because she was scared. Sacabon told detectives that, when he came downstairs, he saw what he believed was a person laying in the snow.

Sacabon's first call to 911

After speaking to Mendoza and Sacabon, Harbaugh spoke with Louis and Tracey Maranto. They confirmed that they had a get-together on Jan. 23, which began around 4:30 p.m. and that Michael and Amy Metz attended. While watching the Maryland basketball game, party attendees consumed alcohol and food, the Marantos told investigators, according to the narrative.

Louis Maranto said that people had a good time and were joking. Around 10:30 p.m., people started to leave. The Metzes were the last to leave and left together at 12:03 a.m., according to a security system at the Marantos' home.

Louis Maranto did not return a call from the Times for comment.

While at the party, Michael Metz drank gin and tonic, while Amy Metz had wine and mudslides, the Marantos told police. They did not argue or seem combative with each other, and they were not slurring their words or stumbling, the Marantos said, according to the narrative.

<p>This timeline shows some of the events and witness accounts of the morning of Jan. 24, 2016, when Amy Metz of Hampstead died in a snowstorm. (<a href="" target="_blank">View the full image</a>)</p>

This timeline shows some of the events and witness accounts of the morning of Jan. 24, 2016, when Amy Metz of Hampstead died in a snowstorm. (View the full image)

(aerial / Google Earth Pro / Carroll County Times)

When they left, the Metzes were dressed for the cold weather, and Amy Metz had borrowed a pink fleece jacket, the Marantos said. While Harbaugh was talking to the Marantos, they received a call saying Amy Metz was missing, but it is unclear who made the phone call.

Holland spoke with William Zynel and Paul D'Agati, neighbors who also attended the party, according to Holland's narrative. The Zynels arrived at the party at approximately 5 p.m. on Jan. 23. The D'Agatis arrived around 4:30 p.m. Both couples left at approximately 10 p.m., and when they left, they remember the Metzes, Brian Kelly and the Wargos still at the party.

Both D'Agati and Zynel described Amy Metz as "intoxicated" and called her the "life of the party." D'Agati said that he was close with the Metzes and called the two a great couple.

As the interview finished, Steve Jarkiewicz, a neighbor who did not attend the party, came to the Zynels' residence and said he had information about Amy Metz.

Jarkiewicz told Holland that he was going up his stairs around midnight when he heard talking outside. He looked out the window and saw Michael and Amy Metz. The Metzes were walking up the street from the direction of the Marantos' residence, and Jarkiewicz said he saw Amy Metz fall over twice.

Jarkiewicz said he thought about going outside to help Michael Metz get Amy Metz home, when he saw Michael Metz grab Amy Metz under the arm and the two walked together with their arms locked. It appeared that the two were walking fine enough without assistance, Jarkiewicz told Holland. Jarkiewicz would later come to police on Feb. 8 with additional information about what he saw that night, including Michael Metz appearing to strike Amy Metz after she had fallen in the snow.


Sgt. Phill Lawrence was called in to relieve Deputy Michael McMillion at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 24, 2016, according to Lawrence's narrative, and told Michael Metz that he would be sitting with him until Holland was able to return. As both sat at the kitchen table in the residence, Metz attempted to turn on his phone, which he said had become disabled when he was shoveling snow the previous day. Lawrence noted in his narrative that the driveway did not appear to be shoveled.

"He advised he was hoping that his wife, Amy, would text or email him and he was afraid that he was going to miss a text, email or call from her advising him where she was," Lawrence wrote in his narrative.

After about 90 minutes, Michael Metz removed the phone case and was able to wipe off water marks. The phone started working again and he called two neighbors to see if they had seen Amy Metz.

"I was able to hear parts of their conversation, and I heard 'Joe' tell Michael, 'the police found a body.' Michael responded, 'No, you can't be serious' and then ended the phone call," according to Lawrence's narrative. It is unclear from the narrative who "Joe" is.

After ending the call, Michael Metz dropped to his knees, put his head in his hands and repeatedly said, "no, it can't be," according to the narrative. Michael Metz asked Lawrence if the information was true, and Lawrence confirmed a body was found, but it was not confirmed to be his wife.


"He advised 'it has to be her' and then laid on his back in the hallway and began crying. He then rolled onto his side and continued crying. After several minutes, Michael got up and walked back to the kitchen table. I noted that I did not observe tears or watery eyes indicative of someone crying," Lawrence wrote in his narrative.

Michael Metz started asking Lawrence questions, and his voice began to rise. Approximately 30 minutes after Michael Metz made the two calls, two people came into the residence and to hug Michael Metz while crying. They explained they were the parents of one of the children in the Metzes' residence at the time. The mother ended up taking her son, as well as the Metzes' two boys with her, while the father and Michael Metz's brother also came to the residence.

Harbaugh took Michael Metz to the sheriff's northern office behind the North Carroll branch of the Carroll County Public Library around 11 a.m., and the two other men were asked to leave while police conducted a search warrant on the house.

Harbaugh's interview with Michael Metz began at approximately 11:15 a.m. and ended at 7:10 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2016. Harbaugh left multiple times during the approximately eight hours, including to conduct a search warrant at the Metz residence, speak with neighbors and collect background and more information about the case, he said in an interview with the Times.

Det. Richard Harbaugh interviewed Michael Metz on Jan. 24, 2016. Harbaugh left multiple times during the approximately eight hours, including to conduct a search warrant at the Metz residence, speak with neighbors and collect background and more information about the case, he said in an interview with the Times.

Harbaugh told the Times via email that Michael Metz was considered a person of interest in the case. Michael Metz was voluntarily interviewed and was free to leave whenever he wanted.

"Usually someone being interviewed has the right to leave. Even a suspect in a case is free to leave until such point as charges are applied," he said in the email.

Michael Metz was only interviewed by Harbaugh once during the investigation. In a separate interview with the Times, Harbaugh said police asked Metz back to answer more questions and collect property, but he declined their request.

As he was being driven to the northern office, Michael Metz asked if Harbaugh or Sgt. Walter Dayton could just tell him if Amy Metz was dead. Harbaugh said that they would tell him more when they got to the northern office.

Harbaugh brought Metz into the interview room at around 11:15 a.m., according to video recording, obtained by the Times as part of the Public Information Act request. After providing Metz with his requested water, Harbaugh left. During the approximately 43 minutes that Metz is left alone in the room, video shows him talking to himself, drinking water, putting his face in his hands and pacing the room. Much of what he says is unintelligible.

Det. Richard Harbaugh interviewed Michael Metz on Jan. 24, 2016. Harbaugh left multiple times during the approximately eight hours, including to conduct a search warrant at the Metz residence, speak with neighbors and collect background and more information about the case, he said in an interview with the Times.

"This can't be right. This cannot be right," he says at one point on the video.

At approximately noon, Harbaugh re-enters the room.

"I'm going to try and get this done so we can get you back home with your kids as quickly as possible," Harbaugh told Metz on the video.

Metz told Harbaugh that he and Amy went to the Marantos' party to watch the University of Maryland basketball game. They arrived at the party around 4:30 p.m. In addition to the Marantos, the Zynels, D'Agatis and Wargos were at the party, according to Harbaugh's narrative.

Both Amy and Michael Metz were intoxicated, but they were functional, Metz said, responding positively when Harbaugh asked if they could still walk. Metz told Harbaugh that he left the party while Amy stayed behind, telling him that she would be behind him. Metz walked home by himself and showered. When he got out of the shower, Amy Metz still wasn't home, he told Harbaugh.

Metz got dressed quickly and began to make his way back to the Marantos because his phone wasn't working and he wasn't able to call Amy, he told the detective. When he got to the top of the hill on Wellesley Court, he saw police.

Metz's initial statements contradicted what the Marantos told Holland. The Marantos' told police the two had left together and the security system that records when the front door opens clocked the Metzes leaving at 12:03 a.m. Jan. 24.

The Times asked Michael Metz about his recollection of the events that happened on Jan. 23-24 and what time he left the Marantos, but he declined to comment.

"While [two years] has passed and I continue to adapt to life without my best friend and true partner in all things, I spend every unoccupied moment consumed by almost debilitating sadness, heartbroken and shattered. I am haunted at all times by the memories of that horrific night," Michael Metz told the Times via email in a prepared statement.

According to Harbaugh's narrative, Metz told Harbaugh that he received a text message saying a body was found on Wellesley Court. Harbaugh then told Michael Metz it was Amy Metz who was found in the snow, the first confirmation of that fact to Metz by law enforcement.

"I advised Michael Metz that Amy Metz had passed away, which he asked, 'Where was she? What happened?' Michael Metz continues and asks, 'Where?' I informed Michael Metz that Amy had died outside, to which he responded, 'Oh Jesus,'" Harbaugh wrote in his narrative.

Det. Richard Harbaugh interviewed Michael Metz on Jan. 24, 2016. Harbaugh left multiple times during the approximately eight hours, including to conduct a search warrant at the Metz residence, speak with neighbors and collect background and more information about the case, he said in an interview with the Times.

Harbaugh told Michael Metz they were trying to figure out what happened to Amy. He asked about medical conditions, telling Michael Metz it might have been a heart attack that killed her. Michael Metz repeated that he was out looking for his wife.

"I got out of the shower, and I called downstairs. She didn't answer. I went downstairs, and she wasn't there. Came back upstairs, put some clothes on, left the house," Metz said on the video.

Harbaugh told Metz he would get him some water and check for updates at approximately 12:13 p.m. Shortly before video showed Harbaugh re-enter the room at 12:40 p.m., Metz is standing and pacing, repeatedly saying something is wrong and cursing. "What happened to you, baby? This can't be right," he said as Harbaugh opened the door.

Det. Richard Harbaugh interviewed Michael Metz on Jan. 24, 2016. Harbaugh left multiple times during the approximately eight hours, including to conduct a search warrant at the Metz residence, speak with neighbors and collect background and more information about the case, he said in an interview with the Times.

When Harbaugh re-entered the room, he asked Michael Metz what happened prior to the Metzes going to the party. Michael Metz told him he shoveled snow, while Amy did laundry and that the two did not argue.

The two had a good relationship, Michael Metz said. They had just gotten back from a vacation to Key West, Florida, the previous week. They had gone because Amy Metz ran a race there, Michael Metz said on the video. The video shows Harbaugh telling Michael Metz that everyone he spoke to said that Amy and Michael Metz never argued.

When the interview turned back to the events after the party, Metz told Harbaugh it was unusual for Amy to disappear or not tell him what she was doing, and she had never stayed the night at the Marantos.


"I asked Michael Metz, 'You definitely didn't leave with Amy?' He stated, 'No. No. She said, 'I will be right behind you.' And I wanted to go home, I was pretty tired, and so I just left,'" according to Harbaugh's narrative.

On the video, Harbaugh pressed Metz about leaving prior to Amy Metz, telling him he spoke to the Marantos, who said the Metzes left together. Michael Metz told him that Amy Metz was drunk and that he thought she was going to stay behind to help Tracey Maranto clean up after the party.

"I stated, 'They said you guys walked home together,'" according to Harbaugh's narrative. "Michael Metz stated, 'I don't remember that. I thought she stayed. I was pretty drunk.' Michael Metz continued, 'I was trudging by myself.'"

Michael Metz tells Detective Richard Harbaugh he walked alone.

Metz could not tell Harbaugh what time he left the Marantos. The Times emailed Michael Metz asking if he recalled what time he left the party, but he declined to comment.

Harbaugh asked Metz for the time frame between when he left the party and when he met police on Wellesley Court. Harbaugh asked Metz if he thought he and Amy stumbled on the way home, to which Michael Metz said it was possible because the snow was deep.

"We know something happened in the middle there from when she left to when she didn't make it home. So we're trying to figure out what happened," Harbaugh told Metz on the video before asking if he walked home with Amy.

Harbaugh asked Metz how much they had to drink. Metz repeated that he had gin at the party and said he thought Amy had some beer, a glass of wine and a margarita. The two also had beer before going to the party, he said on the video. But Amy Metz could handle her alcohol and never got to a position where she couldn't walk, Michael Metz said.

"Like I said, we want to get the answers for what happened. I mean, just because, I mean, we don't want your kids to not know exactly what happened to her, and we don't want you to not know either," Harbaugh said on the video.

Harbaugh told Metz that he calculated that there was a four-hour gap between when Michael Metz said he left and when he met with the police. He asked Metz what happened during those four hours, and Metz replied he didn't know. Metz repeated that he got home, showered and went to look for Amy Metz. But a little over an hour into the interview, he also told Harbaugh that he was afraid he might have fallen asleep.

Harbaugh asked Metz if there was any reason someone would see him walking with Amy Metz, to which Michael Metz replied he didn't think so because he didn't remember walking with her. He remembered Amy Metz telling him she'd be right behind him. Michael Metz also confirmed that Amy Metz did not have any medical problems that they were aware of and that she was not a sloppy drunk.

Det. Richard Harbaugh asked Michael Metz if there was any reason someone would have seen him walking with Amy Metz.

Harbaugh asked again if he left with Amy Metz.

"I'm trying to understand because there's this three-hour time period where we're trying to figure out what happened exactly between when you guys left, because we know you left at 12:03 a.m. That's verified that you and Amy both left and then ...," Harbaugh said before Michael Metz interrupted to say he didn't leave with Amy. "You get into the shower at some point, then you said you leave right after you got out of the shower and that's when you saw police and started the report. So there's three hours in there that we need to figure out kind of what happened in those three hours."

Harbaugh said on the video that if Amy Metz fell on the way home, they need to know what happened. He asked if she was behind Metz and yelled for him, but he didn't hear. Michael Metz said he thought he would have heard that. He got home, got out of his winter gear and got into the shower, he repeated to Harbaugh. But Harbaugh asked him again to think about what happened in the missing three hours.

"I mean, it didn't take you three hours to walk home," Harbaugh told Metz.

Michael Metz said he must have fallen asleep, despite not remembering it because he doesn't remember what happened. He repeated that he did not walk home with Amy Metz, but Harbaugh told him that two neighbors spotted them together.

"I told Michael Metz, 'I know that you guys walked together. I know two people saw you guys walking together around midnight.' Michael Metz stated, 'Oh geez. Who?' Michael Metz continued, 'I don't remember walking with her, man. I was by myself,'" according to Harbaugh's narrative.

Metz continued to say he didn't remember walking home with Amy Metz despite Harbaugh saying one of the witnesses saw Michael Metz helping Amy Metz in the snow. Harbaugh repeated that he needed to know what happened, and when Michael Metz said he couldn't remember, Harbaugh said he needed to know the truth about what happened that night.

Harbaugh left the room again at approximately 12:50 p.m. After Harbaugh left, the video shows Michael Metz standing up and speaking to himself again, putting his hands over his face.

"What happened to you, baby doll? There's no way. There's no way. I wouldn't. There's no way," Michael Metz said on the video.