February 26, 2024
Annapolis, US 56 F

DNA helps Anne Arundel County Police identify a 1963 murder victim

On April 23, 1985, a body was found in a metal trash can by a construction crew cleaning land for the Marley Station Mall and a murder investigation ensued.

Now, 34 years later, the Anne Arundel County Police can put a name to the victim–Roger Hearne Kelso.

In the summer of 1962, 19-year old Roger Hearne Kelso left his Glen Burnie home; and 1963 was the last time anyone had heard from him. Police believe this to be the approximate time of his death.

Through dogged, incessant police work and a boost from a genetic genealogy analysis, police today positively identified the remains as those of Kelso. Present at a press conference were Kelso’s younger sister, Mary Ellen Huffman of West Virginia and other family members. Police believe that Kelso died from upper body trauma and think that his remains may have been in the buried trash can for 22 years prior to being discovered by contractors.

While the discovery can provide some closure to friends and family of a 57 year old mystery, there is still an unsolved murder. A $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction for Kelso’s killing is being offered as it is for any unsolved murder in Anne Arundel County according to police Chief Timothy Altomare. Specifically, police are interested in speaking with anyone that may have attended Glen Burnie High from 1958-1961. Kelso graduated in 1961. According to Altomare, the slightest memory may be the key to solving a murder.

Police urge anyone with information to call homicide detectives at 410-222-4731.

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