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Man found dead in Jonathan area today

April 13, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A young man was found dead on a walkway in the Jonathan Street area of Hagerstown this morning, the Hagerstown Police Department said.

Sgt. Paul Kifer said the man is the victim of a homicide - not a natural death - but he would not release the cause of the man's death.

Kifer said the man's body was found in the 300 block of Bethune Avenue at about 4:45 a.m.

Bethune Avenue runs parallel between Henry Avenue and North Potomac Street, off Bethel Street, he said.

At about 9:30 a.m. today, police were still trying to identify the man, whom Kifer could only describe as a black man in his early 20s to early 30s. He said police were not sure yet whether he was from the area or lived here.

The man's body was sent to the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

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This morning, Kifer, Lt. Michael King and Capt. Charles Summers combed the neighborhood for evidence - walking in lines, looking down upon the damp grass in the yard of Ebenezer AME Church, at 40 W. Bethel St.

Kifer said the man's body was found in front of apartment buildings on Bethune Avenue, just up the hill from the yard in which the officers were walking.

He said so far there's "nothing indicating it is related to the drive-by shooting" reported Wednesday morning.

Wednesday's shooting, reported to police shortly before 2 a.m., occurred at the intersection of Hamilton Lane and Forest Drive, not far from where the man's body was found this morning.

In Wednesday's shooting, a bullet had been fired from a newer model Chrysler or Dodge van into a Nissan Maxima, piercing the door of the Maxima before striking a cell phone in the pocket of a back seat passenger, Kifer has said.

No one needed medical attention in that incident.

Police are still investigating that shooting, but said they believe a report of shots fired at about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday might be related to the drive-by later that morning.

Police ask anyone with information on either the homicide or the Wednesday shooting to call police at 301-790-3700, ext. 234.

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