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Police: Few tips in pregnant woman's assault

January 06, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Tips have been "very scarce" about a December assault that led to the deaths of unborn twin babies, Washington County Sheriff's Cpl. Roy Harsh said Monday.

The Sheriff's Department said on Dec. 29 it was investigating a report that a 19-year-old woman who was five months pregnant was robbed at knifepoint and kicked multiple times by two men on Dec. 13.

The woman told police she was attacked behind an auto glass shop on Pennsylvania Avenue after shopping with her boyfriend.

The woman was first taken to Washington County Hospital. Doctors there could not find heartbeats for the twins, and she was taken to Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center, where on Dec. 17 the babies were declared dead, Harsh said.

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Since then the department has received five phone tips, all of which have been followed up on, but none of which has led police closer to possible witnesses or assailants, Harsh said Monday.

Harsh is the case's only investigator at this point. He said the fact that there were only five calls is not discouraging.

"A lot of times it only takes one call to solve a case," he said.

After more interviews last week, Harsh detailed further information Monday about the case.

He said the woman and her boyfriend, who is a Hagerstown Business College student and on-campus resident, had gone shopping at the Martin's grocery store at Fountainhead Plaza. The woman is not a student at the college.

At about 7 p.m., the two met at Martins' with the boyfriend's roommate, Harsh said. The boyfriend and the roommate took a cab to a Hagerstown apartment complex, and the woman began walking to Hagerstown Business College where she was to meet her parents, he said.

The woman said she was attacked in a parking lot behind the Diamond Auto Glass store at 13236 Pennsylvania Ave. Harsh said it is fewer than 100 yards from the grocery store where she and her boyfriend had shopped.

The woman said she was beaten for some time, and robbed of $300, he said.

The woman then walked to the college, where she found her parents, who took her to the hospital. The Sheriff's Department was contacted by the parents at 7:30 p.m., Harsh said.

Harsh asked that anyone with information about the case call him at 240-313-2183.

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