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Hagerstown woman's remains are identified

May 31, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Skeletal remains found in Upper Marlboro, Md., earlier this week were positively identified Wednesday as those of Karen Linda Moran, who had lived and worked as a hairdresser in Hagerstown for 18 months.

Moran, 45, was last seen April 1 near Lothian, Md., where she was visiting her parents for the Easter holiday, a spokesman with the Prince George's County Police Department said Thursday.

"It's a very spooky feeling," said Patricia Beard, manager of The Hair Cuttery in Hagerstown Commons on Dual Highway. Beard said Moran worked as a stylist at the salon for a year and a half while living in the 300 block of South Mulberry Street.

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Beard said Moran's family had notified her and the other Hair Cuttery employees that the remains found Sunday had been identified as Moran's. She said the family was going to notify them about what happens next.

Investigating the case initially as a missing person, police in Anne Arundel County said Moran and an adult niece were walking along Md. 4 near the Patuxent River Bridge in that county on April 1 when a 30- to 40-year-old white man with a ponytail pulled alongside in a light-colored vehicle.

Police said the niece kept walking while Moran reportedly left with the man.

On Sunday, the skeletal remains were found, along with a shoe and a pair of binoculars, in a field in Prince George's County and the investigation was immediately shifted from a missing person's case in Anne Arundel County to the homicide unit in Prince George's County.

In mid-April, authorities in Anne Arundel County enlisted the help of Hagerstown City Police in locating the woman, said Detective Patricia Moulton, who was handling the case in Hagerstown.

"The sister came up to Hagerstown with Detective Kevin Tribull from the Anne Arundel County Police to report the disappearance," Moulton said.

"Karen was very fun loving and outgoing," Beard said of her former employee. "It feels odd that this would happen to someone you know."

She said Moran loved animals.

Police said in mid-April that Moran was believed to have been bird watching when she disappeared.

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