Detectives search for clues in shooting of 60-year-old teller


Baltimore homicide detectives searched for clues yesterday in the killing Thursday of a 60-year-old bank teller during an apparently bungled robbery attempt outside a West Baltimore bank.

Investigators worked until 2 a.m. yesterday and then returned three hours later to sift through the notes and transcripts of people interviewed in the shooting death of Phyllis Hornfeck of the 400 block of Bathurst Road, Catonsville.

Police spokesman Dennis S. Hill said detectives have interviewed residents and business people in the area of the Maryland National Bank branch in the 500 block of North Franklintown Road, where Mrs. Hornfeck was found shot to death in the front seat of her van.

Detectives even interviewed people boarding or disembarking from buses near the bank in the hope that one of the passengers might have seen something Thursday that would provide a major lead in the case.

"Hopefully, we will pry loose some information, but it is not coming easily," Mr. Hill said.

Mrs. Hornfeck was shot about 8 a.m. while sitting in her van in the middle of the bank's parking lot. The police said she had been waiting for a second employee to arrive.

An unidentified man in a stolen Mazda pulled up on the passenger side of the van and fired two shots through an unopened passenger window of the vehicle, striking the victim once in the head and in the side, the police said.

The man -- about 30 years of age and wearing a beanie-type hat -- then sped off.

The stolen car was found about two blocks away.

The police believe that the man intended to force the woman to open the bank but panicked and shot her. The bank's keys and Mrs. Hornfeck's personal items were found in the van.

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