Anne Arundel County police have found the man they believe killed a gas station attendant in a botched robbery in 1993, but the suspect is dead.
Police say Antoine Xavier Taylor, 21, of the 4500 block of Benning Road in Washington died last year in a shootout with an acquaintance near Landover Mall.
His accomplice in the Dec. 17, 1993, slaying of Bruce William Maddox remains at large. Mr. Maddox, 58, was shot to death by one of two men who walked into an Exxon gas station where he worked in the first block of Defense Highway in Annapolis.
After he was shot, Mr. Maddox made his way to the cashier's booth and tried to call for help, police said. A customer who stopped by the station about 12:30 a.m. that night found him inside the booth, bleeding from the upper body, police said.
Police made little progress in the case until Terrance Andre Maith, 20, of Suitland and Kenneth Milton Hiligh Jr., 22, of Capital Heights were arrested in March in a string of robberies in Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Charles, Baltimore, Montgomery and Baltimore counties and in northern Virginia.
During an interview with the suspects, county police asked the men if they knew anything about a Laurel killing that had happened on Valentine's Day. Mr. Hiligh didn't know anything about that case, but offered information about the killing of Mr. Maddox, police said.
Mr. Hiligh claimed Mr. Taylor told him about the slaying, at first claiming the shooting was an accident, then saying he shot Mr. Maddox in self-defense. Police were skeptical, until they checked Mr. Hiligh's version of what happened.
"He told me two facts that I didn't even know" about the killing, aid Detective Ronald Sappington.
"When I went back and talked to the head investigator, he said the guy must be onto something because those were things we didn't release to the media and didn't even tell other police."
Police would not mention the crucial details that led them to believe Mr. Hiligh, who was in jail when Mr. Maddox was killed.
They hope he can lead them to Mr. Taylor's accomplice. Mr. Hiligh, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Maith were high school classmates in Prince George's County and police believe Mr. Taylor told Mr. Hiligh who was with him.
Though Prince George's County police recovered a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun from Mr. Taylor's body, forensic scientists cannot say if that gun, the same type used in the Exxon robbery, was the one used to kill Mr. Maddox, said Detective Sappington.