Howard man held in death Body of woman found in home

THE BALTIMORE SUN

An Ellicott City man who called police and told them a 20-year-old woman had stopped breathing while lying in his bed yesterday was arrested in connection with her death, police said.

Melvin Robert Bowers, 50, of the 2800 block of Southview Road in the Howard Heights area, was arrested shortly after police arrived at his brick split-level home in the quiet residential neighborhood west of St. John's Lane about 3:50 p.m.

The woman, Geneva Hodge, of the 300 block of Oldham Street in East Baltimore, was dead at the scene, police said.

Investigators described her death as suspicious and said she appeared to be the victim of foul play.

Police said the woman, who had fresh ligature marks on her body, apparently died of asphyxiation.

Her body had no other wounds or evidence of other possible causes of death, police said. An autopsy is expected to be completed today.

Police were still questioning Mr. Bowers at the department's Ellicott City headquarters early this morning.

Mr. Bowers, a certified public accountant, had lived in the Howard Heights suburb since 1980, police said. He had lived with a wife and children but they moved out and he was living alone, neighbors said.

Police cordoned off the house, and neighbors remained curious about what had happened into the early morning hours.

Several said they had seen a woman's body being removed from the house, followed by Mr. Bowers, who was led out in handcuffs.

Neighbors said Mr. Bowers kept to himself.

Police armed with a warrant continued searching the house early this morning but provided no details on what they turned up.

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