Summary of News Conference
Baltimore City Police Department
March 23, 2005
Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm opened the news conference, making the point that the department takes every homicide very seriously and that all are tragic. He said that police were calling a news conference in this case, however, because of the special circumstances involved.
Commissioner Hamm invited Johns Hopkins University President William R. Brody to speak. Dr. Brody delivered a statement thanking police for putting their "hearts and souls" into the investigation.
After Dr. Brody's remarks, the police major in charge of homicide investigations said that Baltimore police had this morning arrested Donta Maurice Allen, 27, of Baltimore on a warrant charging him with murder in the January death of Johns Hopkins senior biomedical engineering major Linda Trinh.. They said he was arrested without incident.
Allen was undergoing questioning by homicide investigators Wednesday afternoon.
Police said the investigation was continuing but that they are not seeking any additional suspects.
Police said that Allen's name had surfaced very early in the investigation, but that it was only within the past few days that they had received the results of DNA tests that unequivocally tied him to the crime.
Police declined to answer a number of questions from reporters, but did make the following statements:
Allen is not known to have any direct affiliation with Johns Hopkins, but was familiar to a number of students and friends with some.
Allen has been seen on video surveillance records entering and leaving the Charles Apartments building, the private building across Charles Street from the Homewood campus where Linda Trinh lived and where she was found dead. (Police declined to say whether he was caught on video surveillance on the day Linda Trinh was killed.)
Allen does not have an extensive past criminal record, but has had some prior arrests, for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and for malicious destruction.
Allen is not believed to have broken into the apartment where Linda Trinh lived, but nevertheless police do not believe he was a "welcome guest." Police did not explain the apparent contradiction.
Police have "absolutely no direct evidence" that Linda Trinh was sexually molested.
Police do not know what Allen's motive may have been.
Police continue to believe there is no connection between the killing of Linda Trinh and the killing nearly one year ago of junior Christopher Elser. A $50,000 reward remains in effect for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in the Elser case.
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