Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Maryland's Mother-Daughter Killings

Karen and Karissa Lofton

Prince George's County acting Chief of Police Roberto Hylton
Prince George's County acting
Chief of Police Roberto Hylton

Investigators learned that Karen, a school nurse, and Karissa had gone to church on Sunday, January 25, 2009, and that Karissa had later gone to work at her job at the Golden Corral restaurant at the Capital Centre. It was reported by The Washington Post that family members said she was last seen leaving the restaurant at approximately 9 p.m. Detectives were unable to determine how Karissa had gotten home from work: her mother typically picked her up, but it appeared that Karen had not done so that night.

At this point in the investigation, so much was still a mystery, and police were working under the theory that Karen and Karissa Lofton were likely killed by someone who knew them. But who? Karen's ex-husband, as well as other relatives and friends, were quickly ruled out as suspects. It was possible, of course, that whoever killed Karen and Karissa lived in the same neighborhood, but no leads had been developed to support that possibility. The detectives noted that the neighborhood consists of a number of well-kept homes with large yards.

Seth Aidoo (left) and Eunice Bahh
Seth Aidoo (left) and Eunice Bahh

"The area is pretty quiet," Hylton said.

Twelve days earlier and some five miles away another double homicide had occurred in a gated community of million-dollar homes in the Upper Marlboro area. In that case, Eunice Baah, 36, and Seth Aidoo, 40, had been killed in their home located on the 14500 block of Turner Wootton Parkway. Aidoo had been stabbed to death, and Baah had died from a gunshot wound to the head. According to Hylton, despite public speculation, there was nothing to indicate that the deaths of Karen and Karissa Lofton were connected to the deaths of Baah and Aidoo.

"This is an isolated incident," Hylton said of the Lofton shootings. "This is not a serial killer... we're pulling out all the resources, doing everything forensically that we can."

Map with Upper Marlboro, Md. locator
Map with Upper Marlboro, Md. locator

In the meantime, Tonya Douglas, 39, Karissa's cousin and Karen's niece, described Karen Lofton as a hard-working woman and a loving mother.

"She wanted the best for her children and family," Douglas said.  "She was a supportive person. Karissa was the same way."

As time passed with detectives still unable to identify a suspect in the killings, investigators began to consider whether Karen and Karissa had been killed by a stranger, which made the killings even more chilling.


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