Baltimore County police were searching today for a rental car stolen from the parking lot of the Towson shopping mall where a 22-year-old sales clerk was found stabbed to death.
Police said the stolen car could be connected to the murder of Gina Courtalis, of the 4200 block of Darnall Road. Sgt. Stephen A. Doarnberger said the white, 1989 Hyundai Sonata 4-door sedan was stolen at about the time on Saturday that Courtalis was to have closed the weight-loss center where she worked.
The car, owned by Key Leasing Co., bore Maryland license tags XTZ695, and was stolen between 3 and 4 p.m. Saturday. Courtalis' body was found at about 5:30 a.m. yesterday in the file room of the Nutri-System Weight Loss Center in the Towson Market Place on the 1200 block of Putty Hill Ave., police said.
Courtalis' upper back had multiple puncture wounds, police said.
Courtalis, a graduate of Perry Hall High School, had worked at the store for about 18 months and was supposed to close the store between 1:30 and 3 p.m. Saturday, police said.
Her mother called police and reported her missing at 4:30 a.m. yesterday.
Family members went to the store yesterday and found the victim's Nissan Pulsar parked at a curb. Courtalis' keys were on the counter in the weight loss center, police said, and there were no signs of ransacking or forced entry.
Police believe the center's door was unlocked or that its lock was defective, which allowed the assailant or assailants to gain entrance.