Shocked by the murder of a 23-year-old part-time security guard at St. Timothy's School, about 130 parents, teachers and students gathered yesterday in an amphitheater at the exclusive girl's boarding school in Stevenson to discuss their fears with administrators and the police.
"Everybody would like to speculate to try to get at answers, but at this point, it's a mistake to speculate about anything," said Galen Brewster, headmaster of the school.
The bludgeoned body of Kimberly R. Kenna was discovered by a teacher Saturday morning floating in a shallow pond behind her guard shack on the rolling, 234-acre campus.
Baltimore County police spokesman E. Jay Miller said evidence gathered at the scene indicated that Ms. Kenna, who lived in a dormitory on campus for about a year and worked the 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, was attacked in the guardhouse and dragged to the pond about 20 yards away.
Two investigators are working on the case full-time, but they are still in the process of interviewing Ms. Kenna's friends at the school and at TGI Friday's, a Towson bar and restaurant where she also worked, Mr. Miller said. "It's certainly a whodunit at this point," he said.
A few parents have discussed taking their daughters out of the school, which has an enrollment of about 100 in grades 9 through 12, Mr. Brewster said. But their children have talked them out of it because they want to remain part of what the headmaster described as a "close-knit community."
"There's been a lot of people hugging each other, supporting each other and consoling each other," he said. "This is a very close-knit community, and the reaction has been something that has pulled us closer together."
Ms. Kenna was part of that community. A 1989 graduate of Penn State University, she moved to St. Timothy's about a year ago after friends recommended the school for a job. In addition to her night security job, she also volunteered as a field hockey coach.
She was saving money to go to graduate school in nursing.
Ms. Kenna's funeral will be held in Pittsburgh, where her family lives, Mr. Brewster said. The school will hold a memorial service later this week. A date has yet to be scheduled.