Anne Arundel County police are expected to announce Wednesday they're forming a team of retired detectives that will bring a "fresh set of eyes" to county cases that are unresolved or have been questioned.
One of the first cases to be reviewed will be the death of Katherine S. Morris, a 21-year-old University of Maryland, College Park student who was found dead in her car at Arundel Mills mall on May 6, 2012. Morris' death was ruled a suicide, but police say her family has pressed for an additional investigation.
"It's being investigated as a suicide. We don't believe that it's a homicide," said Lt. T.J. Smith, a police spokesman. Still, he said, Anne Arundel Chief Kevin Davis decided the case would be a good candidate for review by the new team of retirees — all of whom are volunteering their time. Smith said Davis hopes the review "could offer closure" for such cases.
The county chapter of the NAACP and the Anne Arundel-based Caucus of African-American Leaders have backed Morris' family's request to have that case examined. Leaders of those two organizations are planning a news conference Wednesday in Glen Burnie, where, according to a news release, they'll thank police for looking at it again.
Smith said Morris' death is expected to be the first of several to go before the group of retired detectives. Police did not identify the team members, but said they worked in Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Montgomery counties — and all now live in Anne Arundel.
Smith said the exact nature of the group's work hasn't yet been established but will likely include "strategy sessions" where members will go over evidence and talk with the detectives who worked the cases.
"We're going feel this thing out because it's new," he said.
Smith said other cases that may be reviewed include the unsolved January 2011 homicide of Myra Cason, a retired schoolteacher who was found dead in her car along Ritchie Highway of gunshot wounds; and the unsolved January 2012 death of Gregory Sears, who was shot and killed during an apparent robbery in his driveway in Laurel.