Greenbelt Teen Likely Was Killed By a Stranger

Washington Post-August 7, 1995
Author: Jon Jeter
After 4 1/2 months, more than 100 interviews and at least 300 dead-end leads, Prince George’s County police still are seeking the killer of a teenage girl who was abducted outside a Greenbelt shopping center
Julie Lynn Ferguson, 17, disappeared after she left work March 21. She was last seen standing outside the Linens ‘N Things shop where she was a cashier. Eight hours later, her body was found by the side of a road in the Glenn Dale area. Her throat had been slit, police said, and she was fully clothed.
In the weeks that followed, county police got as many as a dozen tips daily from callers as far away as North Carolina and West Virginia. None produced results.
“We still get a few calls, but no more than one or two a week,” said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a county police spokeswoman.
Detectives interviewed the teenager’s classmates at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt and have mostly ruled out the possibility that Ferguson was slain by an angry boyfriend or jilted suitor, sources said. That has led investigators to suspect that Ferguson’s abduction was the work of a stranger who saw her standing alone on a darkened curb.
For now, investigators said they think their best lead stems from several sightings of an unidentified man in the College Park area since Ferguson’s disappearance. Witnesses said the man has tried to coerce young women — including several University of Maryland students — into his car. That car is described by police as a maroon, late model Volkswagen Jetta, similar to a car spotted in the Greenway shopping center in Greenbelt about the time Ferguson was abducted and again in the area where her body was found.
The man is described as white, cleanshaven and in his thirties, with short, blondish-red hair and reflective sunglasses.
The reward fund for information leading to the killer’s arrest, augmented by Ferguson’s classmates and relatives, is more than $25,000.