Police have identified a woman whose body was found partially clothed near New Psalmist Baptist Church in Southwest Baltimore this month.
Brenda Hatfield, 45, is one of several women found strangled in the past few months. Her body was discovered July 8 in the 4500 block of Old Frederick Road, police said.
In addition to strangulation, police spokesman Troy Harris said yesterday that blunt force trauma was another cause of Hatfield's death.
A sister of the victim said that despite a recent report in the Baltimore Examiner that Hatfield may have been involved in prostitution, her sister was not a prostitute.
Maryland court records show that Hatfield had no charges or convictions for prostitution, and Harris said yesterday that there was no indication that a connection existed between prostitution and Hatfield's slaying.
Harris said there was also no indication that the killing is connected to the other strangulations, some of which might have been connected.
A woman who identified herself as Hatfield's sister, and did not want her name printed because of fear for her safety, said Hatfield could not defend herself because she had been in a severe car accident a month before her killing and a rod had been placed in her arm, disabling it until it healed.
Harris said he could not confirm or deny any other details of the case because the investigation is continuing and police are "still looking for the person who did this."
Last month, Nicole Sesker, the stepdaughter of former Baltimore police commissioner Leonard D. Hamm, was found strangled in the 3500 block of Garrison Ave. in Northwest Baltimore. Past interviews showed she had been involved in prostitution and used drugs.
In April, Yolanda Brown, 36, was found strangled in the 3600 block of Winterbourne Road. Amanda Bishop, 22, was found strangled in the 1300 block of Nanticoke St. last month.
Because of the recent homicides, police have formed a task force of detectives to review unsolved homicides of women in the past decade, but they have not drawn any connections, police said.