Ryan Michael McGuire, 32, was being sought by authorities when he allegedly killed Cindy Berdina Testerman, 61, and Judy Elizabeth Slebzak, 66, his stepmother, who was found stuffed in a cedar cabinet in her home. Baltimore County police have charged him with two counts each of first- and second-degree murder in the women’s deaths.
Police first arrested and charged McGuire with four counts of burglary and theft on Feb. 15 after police said he took a woman’s purse from her trailer on Philadelphia Road in the White Marsh area.
On May 7, McGuire failed to appear for an arraignment hearing in the case before Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert E. Cahill, court records show.
On the same day, the judge forfeited the bail bond and issued a bench warrant.
About two weeks later, on May 20, McGuire allegedly killed Slebzak using an “edged weapon,” and then took her vehicle and sold some of her belongings to help pay for drugs, according to police and court records. He then allegedly killed Testerman on June 23, after she asked about Slebzak’s whereabouts, court records show. He took Testerman’s car and items from her home to sell for drug money, police said.
On June 24, Testerman’s son found her body on the kitchen floor of her childhood home in the 7900 block of Roseland Ave., according to police and Testerman’s aunt, Arinthia “Cookie” Wines.
Testerman was pronounced dead at the scene. She had suffered trauma to her upper body, and the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide by trauma on June 26.
McGuire was arrested the next day, almost two months after the bench warrant in the theft case was issued.
Video surveillance was recovered from near Testerman’s home, which police said implicated McGuire in her death, leading detectives across the street to Slebzak’s home. Slebzak’s body was then found inside a cedar chest during a search of her home, police said. McGuire, her stepson, had been staying with her recently, police said.
McGuire admitted his involvement in both women's deaths during an interview with police, police said. He is now being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
Wines expressed frustration that McGuire had not been arrested when the judge issued the bench warrant.
“She would still be alive,” Wines said of her niece. “He should have been picked up.”
Breaking News Alerts Newsletter
As it happens
Get updates on the coronavirus pandemic and other news as it happens with our free breaking news email alerts.
Wines said Testerman was working to clear out and prepare her late father’s home to sell. Testerman’s father, Robert Cox, 91, had died last August. He had worked at Bethlehem Steel and had a large Baltimore beer can collection at his home, Wines said.
“She’s an exceptionally nice person,” Wines said of her niece. “My daughter is devastated,” she said, saying the two cousins were exceptionally close.
Wines said the family plans to follow the case. Wines’ daughter works for the juvenile court and another family member works for the registers of wills at the Towson courthouse.
While the family works at the courthouse, and often sees the fallout from crimes, Testerman’s killing was still a shock.
“It’s something you don’t expect to happen,” she said.