ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects who killed 69-year-old Evelyn Player, who was found dead earlier this week inside the Southern Baptist Church in East Baltimore.
The governor said the killing “has shaken city residents and community leaders to the core. It follows a string of senseless violence that includes a barber shop killing, and the assault of a priest in broad daylight in Little Italy just last week.”READ MORE: 'Heavy Police Presence,' Including SWAT Teams, Reported In West Baltimore; Multiple Roads Closed
Hogan directed Maryland State Police and all state law enforcement agencies to assist in the Baltimore Police Department’s investigation of Player’s death and to step up patrols in the city.
“As we work to bring swift justice, Evelyn’s family and loved ones are in our prayers,” he said.
The governor also called on the city to match the state’s reward.
Player’s body was found Tuesday morning in a bathroom near her work area inside the church. Police said she was stabbed to death.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Mostly Sunny & Warm
Around 6 a.m., Player arrived at Southern Baptist to let in contractors who are renovating the church building.
Friends told WJZ Player was a dedicated member of the church and longtime employee. She volunteered her time every day and was loved by the community.
“She’s always in the building and when she comes in the building, she always greets me with a hug and a smile and says where you been and we just laugh and talk,” said one friend who asked to remain anonymous.
Mayor Brandon Scott on Tuesday called for the suspect or suspects to come forward.MORE NEWS: Crime Without Punishment: Homicide Clearance Rates Are Declining Across The US. Baltimore's Is Down To 42%
“This is not OK. None of us should be OK. Her family is four generations strong at Southern and all of our hearts should be with them,” he said.