Greenbelt Police Seek New Clues in 5-Year-Old Murder

March 23, 2000
Karl Hille, Staff Writer
Greenbelt Gazette

Five years after the body of Greenbelt Resident Julie Lynn Ferguson was discovered March 21 off Daisy Lane in Glenn Dale, Prince George’s County Police released descriptions of two of three suspects.

At a news conference in Palmer Park on Tuesday, Lt. Michael McQuillan, commander of the county Homicide Division, outlined the details of the strangulation death of Ferguson, 17. He asked people with information about the case to come forward.

“Somebody out here knows what happened to Julie Ferguson. You may remain anonymous, and there is reward money,” McQuillan said.

He described witness accounts of Ferguson speaking with the occupants of a four-door car as she waited for three friends to pick her up around 9:30 p.m. on March 20, 1995. She had just gotten off work at Linens ‘N Things in the Greenway Shopping Center in Greenbelt.

“We have one witness who observed a red or burgundy Volkswagen, possibly a Jetta, in the parking lot outside the shopping center occupied by two black males and one black female,” said McQuillan. “A short time later, an additional witness observed Julie leaning in the window of the vehicle, which had by then pulled in front of Linens ‘N Things.”

Ferguson was last seen alive around 9:50 p.m. McQuillan said Ferguson’s friends arrived around 10 p.m. to find a bag of clothes and other belongings, along with a bottle of soda, near where she had been waiting.

Her body was found 5:20 a.m. March 21, 1995, in the 12500 block of Daisy Lane in Glenn Dale, according to McQuillan. An additional witness placed the same vehicle near that location in the early morning hours.

“A lady driving past Daisy Lane described a similar type of vehicle stopped on the side of the road,” he said.

The car had its headlights on and faced the direction of Greenbelt Road, the witness told police.
“[The witness] did not see any occupants at that time. A short time later, as she returned home past Daisy Lane, she did not observe that vehicle,” McQuillan said.

Ferguson’s identification was found in the median of Greenbelt Road near the intersection with Lanham-Severn Road, halfway between her job and the site where her body was found, he said. Other personal effects from her bag are still missing.

Sgt. Norton Miller, commander of the cold case unit in Palmer Park, said investigators reviewed and reorganized all the information relating to Ferguson’s death in the last five months. He said original witnesses were interviewed again and new witnesses turned up with additional information, including descriptions of the suspects.

McQuillan said one new witness came forward who had seen two of the suspects leave the vehicle prior to Ferguson’s disappearance.

“Prior to the store closing, at least two of the occupants of that vehicle got out of the vehicle sitting in the parking lot and went into the liquor store,” he said.

Police are looking for an African-American woman who was in her late teens or early 20s five years ago. She was described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, 140 pounds, with short hair, and wearing a dark, thigh-length coat, white tennis shoes and jeans at the time of the disappearance.

A second suspect was described as an African-American man in the same age range, 5 feet 9 inches tall with a small build, clean shaven face and a neat haircut. He was wearing dark pants and a multicolored silk shirt at the time.

The third suspect was described as an African-American man.

Police say they recovered physical evidence from some of Ferguson’s belongings and have identified a possible suspect, but would not release the suspect’s name or any other information about the suspect or their investigation.