Baltimore County Police open homicide investigation after body found at Lansdowne Middle School

Baltimore County police are on the scene behind Lansdowne Middle School where it was reported that a body was found Tuesday morning.

Baltimore County Police identified a woman found dead at Lansdowne Middle School this week as 37-year-old Audra Pineda, and are now investigating the matter as a homicide.


Police were called around 8:10 a.m. Tuesday to the 2400 block of Lansdowne Road in Halethorpe for a suspicious death and located “a female victim who was pronounced deceased at the scene,” the police said in a statement.

In a Thursday afternoon news release, police identified the victim as Pineda and said the case was ruled a homicide.


A police spokesperson declined to say whether there was a threat to the public but said police do not believe the death is related to the middle school.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 410-307-2020.

On Tuesday morning, police blocked off a scene behind the middle school where a body was lying on pavement beside a school building. Investigators documented the scene and worked beneath a tent that shielded them from the rain until they removed the body around noon. A red tarp lay on the grassy hill behind the school, near a set of muddy tire tracks.

Warfel, the middle school’s principal, sent a letter to parents and guardians notifying them of the increased police presence due to the investigation.

“At this time, we do not believe the incident involves Lansdowne Middle School,” Warfel wrote. “As we learn more information, we will keep you informed.”

In a second letter to parents Tuesday afternoon, Warfel confirmed that the body was found on school property and said police had confirmed the victim was an adult. Officers and school staff kept students away from the crime scene as they arrived at school, Warfel said.


“Students are being kept inside as a precaution and we anticipate dismissal will take place on time,” Warfel said.

Police cruisers were gone by the time school was dismissed on Tuesday. Fallen police tape remained on the ground on one side of the original scene, with an additional section of grass cordoned off at the top of the hill next to an apartment building behind the school.

Students played pickup basketball a few hundred feet away from the morning’s crime scene, while other kids playfully slapped each other with their sweatshirt sleeves while they waited for the bus.

Shortly after 2:50 p.m. Tuesday, Landsdowne parent Sulany Marquez waited in her car until her sixth grade daughter climbed into the passenger seat.

“It scares me,” Marquez said in Spanish. “As a mom, I’m scared for my kid.”

Luis Cabrera, another parent, was waiting for his seventh grade daughter around 3 p.m. Tuesday.


“If it’s true, it’s bad,” he said in Spanish about the discovery of a dead body on campus.

Cabrera said the school called him that morning about the incident, but he had not understood all the details relayed in English. He was able to attend a parent-teacher conference at noon, which reassured him that his daughter wasn’t in danger at the school.

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From the apartment complex behind the school, Chad Carroll and his two sons surveyed what was left of the crime scene, killing time before they could pick up Carroll’s 16-year-old daughter from nearby Lansdowne High School at 3:15 p.m.

“Concerned and shocked,” said Carroll, summing up his reaction to the body’s discovery, just weeks after a Lansdowne High School student was seriously injured in a stabbing. “I wish I could have her in a better place, that’s all.”

Shakur Brown, 28, a resident of the apartment complex, said he was taking his 7-year-old and 5-year-old to the nearby Lansdowne Elementary School in the morning when they saw the crime scene, including a red tarp on the grass.

”I didn’t want to mess up their day or whatnot,” he said. “I was just trying to tell them, I don’t know what happened, something bad must have happened over there.”


Brown said the neighborhood was usually quiet. A fair number of kids in the apartments attend the Lansdowne Elementary, Middle and High schools, he said.

”It’s terrifying to hear honestly because it’s right there at the school, and to think of any kids that might have seen that is horribly terrifying,” Brown said. “Hug your loved ones at the end the day.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Sabrina LeBoeuf contributed to this article.