The bludgeoned body of a 23-year-old woman who worked as a part-time security guard at St. Timothy's girls' boarding school in Stevenson was found floating in a shallow pond behind her guard shack shortly after 7 a.m. yesterday, Baltimore County police said.
The body of Kimberly R. Kenna was discovered by a teacher who was walking her dog past the guard shack. She noticed Ms. Kenna's white Chevrolet Beretta parked at the side of the road, ** the shack door open, a television on and blood on the ground, police said.
The teacher, who was not identified by police, followed a trail of blood about 20 yards to the small pond, which is partially ringed by a low stone wall.
Police spokesman E. Jay Miller said that Ms. Kenna, who had lived for about a year in a dormitory on campus, had been working the 6 p.m.-to-7 a.m. shift at the guardhouse, about 100 yards off Greenspring Avenue on the rolling, 234-acre campus.
She was found clothed only in her blue guard's jacket and a shirt, he said. Her other clothes had been tossed into the water.
Mr. Miller said the evidence indicated that someone surprised Ms. Kenna, hit her over the head, struggled with her beside the shack and dragged her near the edge of the pond. There were signs another struggle occurred by the stone wall, he said. Then her body was dragged along the pond edge past the end of the wall and dragged or pushed into the water, he said.
No weapon was recovered, although a county rescue unit using scuba gear spent hours searching the bottom of the pond.
Galen Brewster, the headmaster of the exclusive boarding school, said someone on campus last saw Ms. Kenna alive about 1 a.m. yesterday. In the guard shack, he said, she had a walkie-talkie that she could have used to alert school officials, but was apparently unable to do so.
"The police were quite confident that she was surprised," he said.
Ms. Kenna, he said, was an athletic woman who liked to run along the roads through the woods and fields on the sprawling campus and was saving money to go to graduate school in nursing. She also worked as a volunteer field hockey coach, and Mr. Brewster said she was "an extremely well-loved person in this community . . . a gregarious person who was easy to talk to."
The small, tightly knit school community -- there are fewer than 120 students and 25 faculty members, most of whom live on campus -- was grief-stricken, Mr. Brewster said. "Obviously, for our students, this is a devastating event," he said.
Parents were notified yesterday, he said, and faculty members who live off campus were brought in to stay with the students. A psychiatrist and other mental health professionals were brought in to help students, who are in grades 9 to 12.
Ms. Kenna, who went to high school in the Pittsburgh suburb of Plum Borough, graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1989 from the College of Health and Human Development of Penn State University's State College campus.
Her parents were notified yesterday and drove from their home to St. Timothy's, Mr. Miller said.
Ms. Kenna moved to St. Timothy's about a year ago, Mr. Brewster said, after friends working at the school recommended her for a job there. About two months ago, she also began working at TGI Fridays, a Towson bar and restaurant, on various shifts during the week.
Marcus K. Nivens, headwaiter at TGI Fridays, called Ms. Kenna, who frequently wore a Penn State sweat shirt, "the sweetest girl I knew. She was very nice. Very helping."
Ms. Kenna "really didn't like that other job" at St. Timothy's, Mr. Nivens said, because of the late hours and planned to quit soon. "She wanted to get a career job," he said.
He also said that she had asked to take next week off, because she planned to visit her boyfriend, a Penn State student, during his spring break.
James W. Kuhn, general manager of the restaurant, said Ms. Kenna was personable, a good worker and a quick learner. "She was just nice to talk to," he said.