Monday, May 22, 2017

David Bell Unsolved Crisfield Homicide

March 5, 1997
Police still looking for clues in city’s first murder in. nearly 10 years
Crisfield and Maryland State Police are continuing to investigate the murder of a 69-year-old landlord found dead last week in his 311 Chesapeake Avenue home. David E. Bell, a retired Montgomery County public school mathematics professor who rented several properties in Somerset and Worcester counties, died from lacerations to the upper neck and torso, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. He had not been been seen or heard from since Feb. 8 by his family and his brother and sister became concerned for his welfare because he was diabetic. Together with Police Chief Vic Rayne and the help of a locksmith, they entered the house Thursday morning and found Bell lying on the floor in the hallway in a pool of blood. Because the house was being renovated, it is difficult to determine if there was a struggle. Chief Rayne described the interior as having “piles of stuff here and piles of stuff there.” Either way, there was no sign of a forced entry and Rayne surmises the victim knew his killer. “It’s my personal opinion whomever was in the apartment, he knew,” the chief said, adding that he feels the murder posed no cause for public concern. Rayne lives two blocks from the murder scene and says the neighborhood has very little crime. Bell had moved to the area around four years ago, but neighbors indicated it was not unusual for him to be away for days at a time. He also had residences in Ocean City and Bethesda. The Chesapeake Avenue house, one of maybe a half-dozen properties he owned in the city, has apartments on the second floor with Bell’s residence on the first floor. One tenant, Tyrone Miles said he often worked for Bell but hadn’t seen him for several days. He said he “knew something was wrong because the light and the television was on downstairs,” but couldn’t see inside the apartment “because the shades were down.” Among the items removed from the house was a blood-stained mattress. It was apparently located near where the body was found. No weapon was recovered. Retired contractor Jim Slipper described Bell as a “good, little old man” who he sometimes had coffee with at Circle Inn. His interests included watching television, following the Washington Redskins and working on math equations. Bell also told Slipper he had two daughters and son living around Washington and a wife in Bethesda. Karen Bell, one of his daughters, told the Washington Post that her father’s wallet and keys were missing