Navy seaman missing after fishing at reservoir


Baltimore County police were searching last night with a helicopter and dogs for a 31-year-old Navy seaman on leave who had been fishing earlier in the day in the Loch Raven Reservoir area where two men were found slain last month.

Police said Robert Thomas Fischer was dropped off at 11 a.m. near the Warren Road bridge by his father, who arranged to pick him up at 3:30 p.m.

But when the father, Thomas Newton Fischer of Reisterstown, arrived at the meeting place, the son was nowhere to be found.

Police, who began their search at 6:30 p.m., suspended it about midnight. They said they would resume it at daybreak.

The missing man, who was said to be very responsible and habitually prompt, was described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds, with thinning sandy hair. He was wearing blue jeans, a Navy blue work jacket and a green fisherman's hat. He has seven tattoos.

He was carrying fishing poles, a white bucket and a tackle box, the father said.

An enlisted man, the son had been stationed in Japan and began his leave at the family's Reisterstown home June 10. He is due to report July 25 at Miramar Naval Air Station in California.

County homicide detectives remain puzzled by last month's unsolved slayings of Vernon A. Smith, a 46-year-old Cockeysville contractor, and a man he apparently never met, a 26-year-old insurance adjuster, Vincent B. Young.

Their bodies were found the night of June 15 floating in the shallow waters of a cove about 200 yards north of the Warren Road bridge. It is a popular fishing spot.

Mr. Smith was bludgeoned. Mr. Young had been shot several times in the upper torso.

The police said they were not sure whether Mr. Smith or Mr. Young was killed first, and that there could have been more than one killer.

Authorities have speculated that Mr. Smith, who was heading to the favored fishing location, might have stumbled upon a homicide scene and was killed because he was a witness. Area residents reported hearing shots in the woods around 8:45 p.m. the night of the slaying, police said.

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