Michael Compton was a man with a big heart, his mother said.
The 21-year-old Brooklyn Park resident got into some trouble, Dea Mayrose said, but he also had a job and two young daughters he cared about deeply. Court records show he was facing drug charges in Frederick County.
"He was very protective of his family," she said.
During the early morning hours of Sept. 18, Compton was shot and killed on a footpath near his home, not far from the Baltimore City line. Police are still investigating and have yet to make an arrest.
"He didn't make the best decisions," his mother said. "Regardless, he didn't deserve to die the way he did."
Compton's death represents one of more than a half-dozen homicides this year in Anne Arundel County and Annapolis that remain unsolved.
There have been 15 homicides this year in the county and one in Annapolis. The totals match the number of homicides last year in the county and the city.
Two men also died this year as a result of gunshot wounds suffered in 2010 and 2011, police said. Those cases remain open, too.
As the year comes to an end and many families grieve, investigators are working diligently on the open cases, police said.
"These detectives have worked around the clock," said county police spokeswoman Cpl. Jacklyn Davis. "They've missed holidays, they've missed birthdays, to try to bring closure to these families."
The killings occurred from one end of the county to the other.
Some of the victims were killed by people they knew intimately, police said. For others, the killers and their motives are not known.
In addition to Compton's death, police are continuing to investigate the following cases:
•Breon Cager, 27, of Pasadena, was shot and killed Jan. 14 in the 7800 block of Coutros Court in Freetown.
•Antwon Coleman, 19, of Millersville, was shot to death March 22 in a parking lot in front of his girlfriend's home on Hardmoore Court in Glen Burnie.
•Lamont Scurry, 39, of Glen Burnie, was shot and killed May 21 in the Harbour House community in Annapolis.
•Karlyn Ramirez, 24, of Severn, was found dead in her home Aug. 25 of apparent gunshot wounds.
•Shannon Blair Jr., 29, of Annapolis, was shot and killed Sept. 15 in the Bay Highlands neighborhood outside of Annapolis.
•Tylique Proctor, 20, of Brooklyn Park, was shot and killed Oct. 1 in the area of Cedar Furnace Circle and Lacrosse Lane in Glen Burnie.
Police believe witnesses are out there who could help detectives solve their open cases, Davis said.
"We really need the public's assistance," she said. "We understand it takes a certain amount of bravery to come forward, but we appreciate any help we can get in keeping our streets safe."
The case of an off-duty Baltimore police officer who shot and killed a robbery suspect Dec. 19 in Linthicum also remains open, police said. Detectives are investigating and no charges have been filed.
While detectives investigate homicides that occurred this year, they also are working on cases of two men who died as a result of gunshot wounds sustained in 2010 and 2011.
Michael Temple, of Odenton, was shot during an apparent home invasion in the 500 block of Williamsburg Lane in Odenton around 8:50 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2010. He was 24 at the time.
Temple died in June as a result of complications from the gunshot wound, police said. The case was ruled a homicide and an investigation is ongoing, police said.
Teyon Jones, 26, of Glen Burnie, was shot in August 2011 at a party in Odenton. He died in November due to complications from the wound.
Jones' mother, Shervon Robinson, of Glen Burnie, had been taking care of him in recent years with the help of other family members and nurses. His wounds kept him bedridden and in a wheelchair, she said.
Robinson, who has a nursing background, said Jones' condition in recent months continued to deteriorate.
Still, Jones told his family he forgave the person who shot him, Robinson said, and urged them to do the same. He also would tell his family to stay positive, even when their emotions got the best of them, Robinson said.
"He was so kind-hearted," Robinson said.
A vigil was held shortly after Jones' death at Old Mill High School, where he was once a multisport athlete. Robinson hopes someone who knows something about the shooting will come forward with information.
"I just want to know what happened so my family can have closure," Robinson said. "We need closure. Please help us."
Detectives this year also closed a number of cases, resulting in at least eight arrests.
Anthony Minick, 22, of Laurel, was shot to death May 12 at a home in the 3400 block of Sudlersville South in Maryland City. Three people were charged in connection with the killing.
Joseph Gibbons, 21, of Churchton, was shot to death July 3 in Lothian. Police charged a 28-year-old man with the murder.
Mohamed Eltahir, 38, of Glen Burnie, was stabbed to death July 8 near Shelly Road and Whitmore Court in Glen Burnie. Police charged a 58-year-old Glen Burnie man in Eltahir's death.
Anthony Anastasi, Jr., 40, and Jacqueline Riggs, 25, were found dead in a home in Lothian on Oct. 5. Anastasi was shot; Riggs was stabbed. Three people, including Anastasi's wife, were arrested and charged with first- and second-degree murder.
In addition to the cases that resulted in arrests, police have closed three other cases.
Palak Patel, 21, of Hanover, was stabbed to death April 12 in the kitchen of a Hanover Dunkin' Donuts where she worked. Police said she was killed by her husband, Bhadreshkumar Patel, 24, who was charged with her death. He fled shortly after the killing and has not been found.
Jesse Brousseau, 19, of Odenton, was stabbed to death during the early morning hours of July 10 in Odenton. The Anne Arundel State's Attorney's Office is not pressing charges against the teen who stabbed Brousseau, saying it appeared to be a case of self-defense.
Diana Knight, 59, of Severn, was shot and killed Dec. 10 in her home in Severn. The suspect, 53-year-old Jeffrey Deberry, set the house on fire after shooting Knight, then killed himself, police said.
"We're thankful for the help we've received so far," Davis said. "But we still need people to come forward."
Compton's mother said she hopes someone comes forward with information that leads to an arrest in her son's death, so it too can be added to the list of closed cases.
"We want to know why this happened and we want the people responsible for this to pay," Mayrose said. "We want justice for him."
Anyone with information on a homicide case in Anne Arundel County can call 410-222-4700 or 410-222-8600. Anyone with information on a homicide case in Annapolis can call 410-260-3439.