Sales­man found slain in sub­ur­ban model home

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - BY DAVID MCFAD­DEN

BAL­TI­MORE | Homi­cide de­tec­tives scoured the grounds of a model home Thurs­day in Mary­land af­ter a build­ing com­pany em­ployee was found slain in­side the sub­ur­ban unit he was try­ing to sell.

Au­thor­i­ties say the bat­tered body of 33-year-old Steven Bernard Wil­son, a sales and mar­ket­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Ryan Homes, was found Wed­nes­day evening in the model home he was work­ing out of in Hanover. The Anne Arun­del County Po­lice Depart­ment said of­fi­cers were dis­patched to the home fol­low­ing a 911 call but could not con­firm whether Mr. Wil­son made the call him­self. The mar­ried fa­ther of two young chil­dren was pro­nounced dead at the scene.

“There was very clear up­per body trauma. We can’t say yet if it was a gun­shot wound, a knife wound or some­thing like that be­cause the au­topsy hasn’t been com­pleted yet,” said po­lice spokes­woman Sgt. Jack­lyn Davis.

Mr. Wil­son’s body was sent to Bal­ti­more for an au­topsy. His fam­ily re­leased a state­ment say­ing they were await­ing the re­sults of the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion and de­scribed him as a “lov­ing hus­band, fa­ther, son, brother and friend.” A spokesman for the par­ent com­pany of Ryan Homes, Vir­ginia-based NVR Inc., de­clined to com­ment.

A search of the model home and sur­round­ing ar­eas was con­ducted by air and dogs, and Anne Arun­del po­lice say they iden­ti­fied “mul­ti­ple pieces of ev­i­dence” through­out the night.

On Thurs­day morn­ing, more than a dozen cadets searched for more ev­i­dence in a grassy field di­rectly be­hind the model unit, where red bal­loons at­tached to a “for sale” sign waved in the breeze.

Homi­cide de­tec­tives did not yet have a mo­tive, Sgt. Davis said, de­scrib­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion as “very ac­tive.”

The slay­ing wor­ried nearby res­i­dents liv­ing in the type of sub­ur­ban prop­er­ties Mr. Wil­son sold for his em­ployer, and it rat­tled real es­tate agents who work open houses.

Tan­isha Ash­ford, who sells homes from her base in Up­per Marl­boro, said she was tak­ing ex­tra pre­cau­tions in the wake of the slay­ing. She said she’s “al­ways on guard” when show­ing prop­er­ties and uses a smart­phone safety app mar­keted to real es­tate agents. She also al­ways tells her hus­band where she’s work­ing if he can’t ac­com­pany her.

“Most times he goes with me when it’s new clients, es­pe­cially if a male,” she said.

Bob John­ston, CEO of the Anne Arun­del County As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors, said Mr. Wil­son was not a li­censed real es­tate agent, but a builder’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive tasked with sell­ing the com­pany’s model homes.

“It’s still a real es­tate-re­lated thing, there’s no ques­tion about it. And we’re ex­tremely con­cerned and putting that out to our mem­bers be­cause it could have been one of them,” Mr. John­ston said in a phone in­ter­view.

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