Body identified as missing woman's


The body of a partly clothed woman found Monday near Interstate 70 at the Patapsco River bridge has been identified as that of Linda May Lester, the Baltimore County 911 operator who had been missing since last week, police said yesterday.

An autopsy found the cause of death to be blunt trauma to the head. There were several blows to the head, police said, but no signs of sexual assault.

A work crew found Ms. Lester, 31, who had been a civilian police dispatcher and a 911 operator for four years, about 9 a.m. Monday. Investigators said she had been dead for several days.

The woman, found on an embankment alongside the westbound lanes, was wearing black-and-white checked pants, which matched a description of Ms. Lester's outfit when she left the county communications center in Towson, where she worked, about 10:45 p.m. Oct. 11.

A search of her Comill Court home in Owings Mills last week revealed nothing unusual, police said. But the discovery of her bloodstained car Thursday led police to suspect foul play.

The car was behind the Ramada Inn in the 1700 block of Belmont Ave. in Woodlawn.

There are no suspects in the case, and the investigation is continuing, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, county police spokesman.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at All Saints Episcopal Church, 203 Chatsworth Ave., Reisterstown.

Besides her daughter, Brianna, 2, survivors include her parents, Herbert D. and Kague O. Battle of Glyndon; and a sister, Christine Battle of Glyndon.

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