A Baltimore County judge has convicted a Windsor Mill man of second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, whose body was never found after she vanished in 2010.
Travis Elleby, 31, was found guilty Wednesday by Circuit Judge Judith C. Ensor after a three-day bench trial, prosecutors said.
Cherice Ragins, his girlfriend at the time, was last seen leaving Elleby’s mother’s Catonsville home with Elleby in February 2010, and was never seen or heard from again, prosecutors said.
Family members said it was out of character for her not to be in touch. Police began a missing-person investigation and concluded that Ragins did not voluntarily disappear, prosecutors said.
According to prosecutors, investigators couldn’t find any activity by Ragins over the years through credit and financial checks.
Elleby was arrested last year and charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors said although Ragins’ body was never found, they had evidence that included phone and text records, surveillance footage and inconsistent statements made by Elleby. They said the relationship was tumultuous at times.
Jason Ott, an attorney for Elleby, declined to comment Wednesday.
Ragins’ mother, Clariese, said she was grateful to county police and prosecutors “for all of their hard work and dedication to this case, for never giving up.”
“After seven long years, we finally got the victory,” she said.
It’s the third time county prosecutors have won a murder trial without having found the victim’s body.
In 2010, Dennis J. Tetso was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Tracey Leigh Gardner. The following year, Jason M. Gross was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Rochelle Battle.
Elleby is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 16. He faces a maximum of 30 years.