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Car sought in probe of deaths


Police probing the recent slayings of two Cockeysville men at Loch Raven Reservoir asked yesterday for help in locating a car seen near the site of the killings, and said they have recovered shell casings that may be linked to the case.

Although stumped in finding a weapon or motive for the June 15 slayings, Baltimore County police released a description of a 1977 or 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo seen near the secluded cove where the bodies were found.

The car was seen near the Warren Road bridge between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. the night of the slayings, said E. Jay Miller, a county police spokesman. Area residents reported hearing shots in the woods about 8:45 p.m. June 15, police have said.

The bodies of Vernon A. Smith, 46, and Vincent B. Young, 26, were found floating in the cove's shallow waters about two hours later. Mr. Smith, a contractor, had been bludgeoned, and Mr. Young, an insurance adjuster, had been shot several times, police have said.

A man who drove through the area a couple of times the night of the killings gave police a description of the Monte Carlo on Tuesday, Mr. Miller said. The man, whom police did not identify, was able to give a detailed description because he is a car buff, the spokesman said.

The two-door Monte Carlo was described as having a flat black, primer color, bright chrome wheels with five or six spokes and "Hoosier" brand racing tires with raised white lettering. All of the car's windows are tinted, and the windshield has a dark band at the top and a thin, white lightning bolt pattern stretching from the top, driver's side to just past the bottom center.

The car has round headlights, a rough primer patch on the front part of the driver's side front quarter panel, and a hood scoop about 18 to 20 inches wide and one to two inches tall, police said. The Chevrolet emblem is on the car's grille.

Police aren't sure that the car is connected to the slaying, Mr. Miller said, adding, "If it's someone who was parked there for some other reason, that's important for us to know so we can eliminate it as being possibly connected."

About 60 police recruits searching the woods near the slaying site found a bullet casing yesterday, the spokesman said, adding that "several" others previously have been found there.

Investigators can't be sure that the casings are connected to the slayings because police receive regular reports of guns being fired in the watershed, he said.

Meanwhile, police divers searched the waters under the Warren Road bridge, where evidence might have been thrown from a car. They plan to try again today.

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