Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– What was a tragic fire Thursday is a case of cold-blooded murder a day later. The 84-year-old woman found dead in the flames had also been stabbed.
Meghan McCorkell has more on this shocking turn in the case.
A fire investigation has now become the city’s second homicide of the year. Now, investigators across the city and the state are all trying to track down a killer.
Homicide detectives, ATF agents, city fire investigators and the state Fire Marshal’s Office all surround the home where Mary Hines died.
Flames engulfed her East Biddle Street rowhome Thursday morning. The 84-year-old didn’t make it out alive.
But 24 hours later, there was a horrifying discovery.
“As a result of the autopsy, she was found to have multiple stab wounds and it’s been ruled a homicide,” Lt. Col. Garnell Green of the Baltimore City Police Department said.
Investigators are not saying if the killer then set fire to the house. But neighbors have theories.
“If somebody stabbed her, I think they just trying to cover up their tracks,” Hines’ neighbor Virgil Wooden said.
Now this neighborhood wants the killer caught.
“This lady doesn’t bother anybody,” neighbor Anne Green said.
A fixture in the community, Hines was a teacher and principal for 30 years. She also touched lives every Sunday at the Eastern United Methodist Church.
“Everybody in Baltimore City seemed to know Mrs. Hines because she has taught so many,” Albert L. Davis, Sr., who attended church with Hines, said.
Hines was the adult Bible study teacher at the church for years and had only recently started training her replacement.
Davis says word of the murder has rocked the church.
“You go from one shock treatment to another,” he said. “It just gets worse and it cuts even deeper.”
He has a message for whomever killed her.
“God knows what you’ve done,” Davis said. “And we pray that God will trouble you that you will come forward.”
Church members had pleaded with Hines to move out of that East Baltimore community. But Hines told them she had lived in that same home for 50 years and wouldn’t leave.
City homicide detectives are asking anyone with information on the murder of Mary Hines to give them a call.