Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Maryland's Mother-Daughter Killings

Delores, Ebony and Case Similarities

Late the following day, Tuesday, March 17, 2009, the bodies found inside the burned-out car were positively identified as those of Delores and Ebony Dewitt, and police immediately realized they were dealing with a second case of a mother and daughter killed in Prince George's County under similar circumstances in less than two months.

Although police were not yet officially linking the Lofton case with the Dewitt case, striking similarities between the two cases surged to the forefront. Karen Lofton and Delores Dewitt were both nurses, both of their daughters were teenagers; the Loftons lived less than a mile from the Dewitt residence; and each had been killed in the early morning hours on a Monday. Also, the houses in which the Loftons and Dewitts had lived both backed up to cul-de-sacs, and both were located in very nice suburban neighborhoods.

Police Major Andy Ellis
Police Major Andy Ellis

"We have not definitively linked these cases," Prince George's County Police Department Major Andy Ellis said. "They have very uncanny resemblances to each other. They occurred close in time to each other, close in distance to each other. We have mothers and daughters. There are very strong circumstantial links, but we don't have anything definitive at this point."

Neighbor Kay Walker, who lives across the street from the Dewitts, told Fox News that the Dewitt residence had been burglarized in December 2008.

"They had purchased a Wii, a brand new television and one other item, an electronic item, and about a week later those items were stolen," Walker said. Someone, she said, "had broken in through a window... and only those items... were stolen."

America's Most Wanted reported that police later confirmed that there had been approximately 40 burglaries since October 2008 in the neighborhood where the killings had occurred.

Although the police did not immediately say how Delores and Ebony had been killed, many in the area presumed that they had been shot due to earlier witness statements and the fact that Karen and Karissa Lofton had been shot. Police did issue a warning to area residents to immediately report to the police if they should come home and find that their house had been broken into, and not to go inside their homes to determine what had occurred before police responded.

According to investigators, the Dewitt home was being thoroughly scoured for clues to what might have happened to the mother and daughter, and detectives were planning to return to the Lofton home to go over it again as well.

In the meantime, police were learning that many things had occurred simultaneously in different areas of the Largo neighborhood the morning of the car fire, all within a very short timeframe.


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