Police believe body is that of suspect in 1996 killing


Baltimore County police said yesterday the badly decomposed body of a man found in the attic of a vacant house in Hedgesville, W.Va., is believed to be that of a suspect in a 1996 killing in Middle River.

Police spokesman Bill Toohey said the department is awaiting positive identification, but it believes the body found Tuesday by a man cleaning the house is that of Wayne Thomas Mann, whose last known address is in the 1000 block of Mohrs Lane in Middle River. A shotgun was near the body.

After the body was discovered, West Virginia state police notified county police, said Toohey, who was unable to say why West Virginia police thought the body was that of Mann, 26.

Mann is charged in a warrant with first-degree murder in the March 1996 shotgun slaying of Joseph A. Conti, 25, a neighbor.

Toohey said Conti's body was found in the trunk of a car parked at the Holiday Inn on Cromwell Bridge Road near Towson shortly after he was killed. Toohey said it is believed that when an arrest warrant was issued in the slaying, Mann fled to West Virginia, where his relatives live.

Pub Date: 7/10/98

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