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  1. #BCoPD, #BCoFD will be at Latino Festival to teach Hands-Only CPR & Pedestrian S...

    #BCoPD, #BCoFD will be at Latino Festival to teach Hands-Only CPR & Pedestrian Safety. August 3, Timonium Fairgrounds, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ^NL
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    More on the arrest of Clyde Campbell for the murder of Dorothy Grubb:

    http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/PoliceNews/iWatch/DundalkWomansBoyfriendChargedWithHerMurder


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Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Date: Mar 21, 2014

Fourteen years after the murder of 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski in her Dundalk townhome, Baltimore County Police homicide detectives have arrested and charged her boyfriend with hiring someone to kill her.

This week, Stephen Michael Cooke Jr., 43, of the 1000 block of Englishman Harbour, Pasadena, 21122, was charged with first-degree murder. He was arrested in Anne Arundel County and is held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Police have believed almost from the beginning of this case that Cooke -- who was the victim's boyfriend and lived with her in the 2000 block of Codd Avenue -- conspired to kill Ms. Bernadzikowski, but detectives have been unable to prove his involvement. A breakthrough came recently, when one of the co-conspirators -- Alexander Charles Bennett, 34, of Greeley, Colorado -- identified Cooke as the person behind the murder. Bennett is in the Baltimore County Detention Center, awaiting trial.

Bennett was charged with first-degree murder in January 2012 after police discovered DNA evidence linking him to the crime. The investigation shows that Cooke hired Bennett and another conspirator, Grant A. Lewis, also of Colorado, to kill Bernadzikowski. Cooke wanted to collect a $700,000 insurance policy he had purchased on the victim months earlier, police believe.

Lewis, 35, of the 2500 block of Locust Street, Denver, Co., was arrested in Baltimore this week and is charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He is held without bail at BCDC.

The investigation shows that Cooke contacted Bennett and Lewis via the Internet and entered into a murder-for-hire agreement with them. Lewis was the middle man and remained in Colorado, coordinating Bennett's actions; Bennett traveled to Maryland and committed the murder, strangling Bernadzikowski and cutting her throat.

Homicide detectives do not believe there are any additional suspects in this case.

"We have been seeking justice in this case for a long time," said Police Chief Jim Johnson. "Our Homicide detectives deserve credit for never giving up on these cold cases. They never forget these victims and their families, and they tirelessly pursue leads over many years. This time, their work has paid off."

Photos of Suspects

Stephen Michael Cooke Jr.

Photo of Stephen Michael Cooke Jr., charged in a cold case homicide from 2000.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Grant A. Lewis

Photo of Grant A. Lewis, charged in a cold case homicide from 2000.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Alexander Charles Bennett

Photo of Alexander Charles Bennett, charged in a cold case homicide from 2000.

At 4:10 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Baltimore County Police and Fire personnel responded to Reisterstown Road and Kenmar Avenue in Owings Mills for a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Upon arriving at the scene, officers found an adult male that had been struck by a Nissan Altima.

The initial investigation into this incident has indicated that the pedestrian was crossing the north-bound lanes of Reisterstown Road from the east side. A 2006 Nissan Altima was traveling north-bound on Reisterstown Road in a left turn lane. The pedestrian walked into the turn lane that the Altima was traveling in and was struck by the Altima.

The pedestrian was transported to Northwest Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He has been identified as 58-year-old Joseph Michael Murphy of the Unit block of Winchester Avenue in Westminster.

This incident is being investigated by the Baltimore County Police Crash Team.

At 9:52 p.m. Thursday, BCoFD and BCoPD were dispatched to a townhome in the 5800 block of Ivy League Drive at 9:51 p.m. for a report of a dwelling fire.

When personnel arrived, they found the front porch of the home on fire. A second alarm was called by BCoFD commanders just after 10 p.m.. as the fire began spreading to adjacent units.

Two families were displaced by the fire. No civilian injuries reported. One volunteer firefighter was transported to St. Agnes Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

About 22 pieces of fire equipment were dispatched to the scene.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing.

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