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Police from Md., Pa. review cold cases

May 18, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The arrest of Jeffrey E. Miles Sr. in April afforded Maryland State Police a fresh possibility in cases that have long been considered cold.

After Miles was charged in the slaying of Kristy Dawn Hoke, investigator Rick Bachtell gathered the cold cases he's worked over the years for the Maryland State Police and presented them to Pennsylvania authorities. Sgt. Bachtell met with Pennsylvania State Police, who found Hoke's body in a wooded area in Waynesboro, to discuss several cases from Washington and Frederick counties.

Bachtell wanted to determine whether Miles, of State Line, Pa., could be responsible for or aid in the resolution of unsolved homicides in his jurisdiction.

Among the Maryland cases Bachtell discussed with Pennsylvania State Police were the deaths of Geraldine Butts in 1983, Loraine "Lori" Zimmerman in 1984 and an unidentified female whose body was found in 1991, he said.

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"Right now, I don't have any cases for the Maryland State Police that can be linked to Jeffrey Miles," Bachtell said.

If any new information was provided by Pennsylvania State Police, Bachtell said Maryland police would actively pursue those angles.

"They haven't passed on anything at this point," he said.

Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Trooper Tom Pinkerton said he wouldn't answer questions about possible Maryland connections or about PSP's work with other agencies.

"We don't discuss open cases," he said.

Roger Cassell, director of the Maryland State Police Cold Case Unit, said troopers don't have anything to tie Miles to some of their cases, but they are not able to rule him out.

"They've met with the Pennsylvania State Police, and they got extensive background on him," Cassell said.

On April 21, Miles, 47, was in Franklin County (Pa.) Court, where Judge Douglas Herman granted a defense request for Miles to undergo a mental health evaluation. Public defender Mike Toms would not comment Tuesday on the status of the psychiatrist's evaluation, but said no new court dates have been scheduled.

Pennsylvania State Police charged Miles with criminal homicide in the slaying of Hoke, a 29-year-old Hagerstown resident whose body was found April 6 near the intersection of East Ninth Street and Clayton Avenue. Police said they used information from that investigation to find the skeletal remains of Angie Lynn Daley, reported missing in 1995. They have not charged anyone in her death.

"We're currently still investigating the Hoke and Daley homicides," Pinkerton said.

A message left at the Criminal Investigations Division of the Chambersburg, Pa., state police barrack was not returned Tuesday.

Butts' body was found in the Potomac River in Frederick County on April 22, 1983, according to published reports. She had last been seen alive at about 2 a.m. on March 20, 1983, walking south on Md. 67 near Netz Road.

Two people walking in a wooded area off Reno Monument Road south of Boonsboro found Zimmerman's body on April 14, 1984. She had been strangled, police said.

On July 31, 1991, the body of a white female believed to be in her late teens to early 20s was found on the southbound side of Interstate 270, three miles southeast of Frederick. She remains unidentified.

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