Double slaying at reservoir cove remains mystery


A month has passed since the bodies of two Cockeysville men were found floating in the shallow waters of a Loch Raven Reservoir cove near the Warren Road bridge, but Baltimore County police reported little progress yesterday toward solving the slayings.

No suspects. No leads. No motive. That was the assessment offered by Cpl. Kevin B. Novak, a police spokesman, on the June 15 killings.

"The investigation is still being actively pursued," Corporal Novak said. "We have no updates and no new information at this time.

"We're still getting calls every day. We got two today, but it wouldn't be prudent for us to discuss the information we received from the calls," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police at 887-2198.

Homicide detectives are hoping a break will come soon in the slayings of Vernon A. Smith, a 46-year-old Cockeysville contractor found bludgeoned to death, and 26-year-old insurance adjuster Vincent B. Young who was shot several times in the upper torso. Police said the men did not know each other.

Members of the Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Company found the bodies shortly after Mr. Smith's family filed a missing person report about 10:30 p.m. June 15. His fishing rod and tackle box were found on the shore.

Mr. Young's Honda motorcycle was parked in a gravelly lot by the bridge, and a trail of blood led to the shoreline.

Mr. Smith's Jeep Cherokee was later found at the Hunt Valley Golf Club about two miles away.

Police are still working on the theory that Mr. Smith was murdered when he stumbled upon a killing in the wooded area, Corporal Novak said.

Area residents reported hearing shots in the woods about 8:45 p.m. the night of the killings, police said, but officers could not pinpoint the location of the shots.

Police officers and dog units have combed the woods, and a police diving team spent nearly a week searching the murky waters of the reservoir for weapons.

Detectives also stopped motorists at the bridge, hoping to find people who had been there or passed by on June 15 to ask what they might have seen or heard.

"The detectives have covered all the area that conceivably could hide a weapon," Corporal Novak said. "Unless we get a tip leading us to take action in that direction again, we won't be doing any more searches."

A blood-spattered dark blue and maroon baseball cap with a painted picture of Donald Duck on the front was found in the wooded area, and a 1977 or 1978 flat-black primer-color Chevrolet Monte Carlo was seen parked near the bridge between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., police reported earlier.

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