A husband and wife were found dead last night -- apparently murder victims -- in their Liberty Heights Avenue home after failing to show up for work on morning and afternoon shifts at a Giant Food supermarket, Baltimore police said.
The victims, found shortly before 10 p.m. after a relative entered the two-story brick and shingle house through the basement, were identified as Peter E. Burrus and his wife, Dawn.
The woman, 27, was found bound, gagged and apparently stabbed in a first-floor bathroom, while Mr. Burrus, whose age was not given, was lying dead in the basement, initial police accounts said.
Another relative, who declined to give her name, said the couple worked at the Giant store at Liberty and Milford Mill roads in Baltimore County, and that concerns about their welfare grew during the day as they failed to arrive for their shifts.
"I called and called and called, I was so worried," the female relative said. "It wasn't like her to not call if she was even two minutes late for work."
Police issued an alert last night for the wife's maroon 1987 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, with a rear bumper that was falling off, and said it might have been taken by the killer.
The killings stunned neighbors along the usually serene row of homes.
"I've never lived in the country, but this is the way I've always pictured it," said an elderly woman -- a resident of Liberty Heights Avenue for 37 years. "Nice neighbors, no crime, not even a burglary. All these years and we've never had anything like this.
"All I've ever had here was, 'Hello, good morning, how you doing,' and all that. It's a tragedy for a model neighborhood."