Hus­band is charged in 2006 death of wife

Ex-Balto. Co. res­i­dent re­ported her miss­ing

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Alison Kneze­vich al­isonk@balt­ twit­

Ten years af­ter a Bal­ti­more County man re­ported his wife miss­ing, he has been charged with mur­der in her death.

County po­lice said Mon­day that ad­vances in DNA tech­nol­ogy helped lead to the ar­rest of Michael Am­ick, 56, who had moved to Hilo, Hawaii, in the 2006 death of his wife, Rox­anne Am­ick.

Michael Am­ick was taken into cus­tody last week while vis­it­ing fam­ily in the Bal­ti­more area.

His de­fense at­tor­ney called the case “com­pletely cir­cum­stan­tial.”

“This case will be de­fended vig­or­ously,” said at­tor­ney Joseph Murtha, who has rep­re­sented Am­ick since po­lice iden­ti­fied him as a per­son of in­ter­est in the case in 2006.

A rel­a­tive of Rox­anne Am­ick’s said her fam­ily did not want to com­ment on the ar­rest.

Po­lice say Michael Am­ick re­ported his wife miss­ing on Sept. 14, 2006. They say he told in­ves­ti­ga­tors she had left their home in the Perry Hall area in his mini­van the day be­fore to go shop­ping and had never come back.

Po­lice found the ve­hi­cle, a 1998 Ply­mouth Voy­ager, be­hind the Perry Hall Cross­ing Shop­ping Cen­ter in the 8800 block of Be­lair Road, near their home. The next day, Rox­anne Am­ick’s body was found in a wooded area a few miles away, wrapped in blan­kets. The area was filled with poi­son ivy, po­lice say.

An au­topsy found she died of mul­ti­ple in­juries, and her death was ruled a homi­cide.

Po­lice say Michael Am­ick told in­ves­ti­ga­tors in 2006 that his wife left the house be­cause they had been ar­gu­ing. He also said they had re­cently been in coun­sel­ing for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Po­lice say of­fi­cers saw a rash on his arms, start­ing above his wrists. He was ex­am­ined at a hos­pi­tal, they say, and doc­tors con­cluded the rash was a re­ac­tion to a plant such as poi­son ivy.

Po­lice said Mon­day that ad­vances in DNA tech­nol­ogy al­lowed them to link work gloves found in the mini­van to Michael Am­ick.

In charg­ing doc­u­ments filed in District Court in Tow­son, po­lice wrote that de­tec­tives be­lieve the gloves would have pro­tected his hands — which had no rash — from the poi­son ivy.

Po­lice did not say when they knew they had found the DNA match.

In charg­ing doc­u­ments, po­lice focus on the blan­kets in which Rox­anne Am­ick’s body was found — one an orange tiger blan­ket, the other a cream-col­ored lion blan­ket. The blan­kets be­longed to the Amicks, po­lice said.

At a bail re­view hear­ing Mon­day in Tow­son, Murtha said, he ques­tioned what ev­i­dence in­ves­ti­ga­tors had now that they didn’t have in 2006.

“It’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary case that is com­pletely cir­cum­stan­tial,” he said. “The state re­lies upon the fact that he had poi­son ivy on his arms, and that his DNA is lo­cated in a ve­hi­cle that he owned with his wife.”

Po­lice said they ob­tained a war­rant af­ter pros­e­cu­tors re­viewed the case.

“There are other as­pects of the case that were re­cently re­viewed and caused us to de­cide to go for­ward,” Bal­ti­more County State’s At­tor­ney Scott Shel­len­berger said.

Michael Am­ick was in the Bal­ti­more area with his chil­dren to visit his mother whenhe was ar­rested, Murtha said. He was be­ing held at the county de­ten­tion cen­ter Mon­day in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Am­ick worked as a dance in­struc­tor for a con­tin­u­ing education pro­gram at the Univer­sity of Hawaii at Hilo, a spokes­woman for the univer­sity con­firmed.

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