Murder USA: Police say Diana Lynn Knight was murdered prior to fire being set; 2nd body probe underway
Couple had long history of assault on each other and dropped charges
UPDATE: The deceased white female was positively identified as Diana Lynn Knight a 59-year-old from the 1200 block of Old Camp Meade Road, Severn Maryland. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled her cause of death from trauma to the upper body with the manner being homicide.
The body of the unidentified white male was autopsied today as results are pending at this time as the investigation is ongoing.
Homicide detectives are working with the OCME as to the identity of the deceased male. At this point in the investigation, homicide detectives indicate preliminary information points to this being a targeted incident and not a random act of violence. As information becomes available, an updated press release will follow.
The Anne Arundel County Police are urging anyone with information to come forward by calling Homicide Detective Dan Myers at 410-222-3413. If people with information wish to remain anonymous, they can also contact the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line 410-222-4700 or Metro Crime Stoppers.
Both Knight and Jeff Deberry, of the same address at 1231 Old Camp Meade Road in Severn exchanged charges of assault against each other in 2010 and in both criminal cases the Anne Arundel States Attorney dropped the charges.
In 2012, court records show that a domestic violence protective order was sought against Knight.
In 2010, Knight was fined $342 for a DUI with no jail time ordered along with Probation Before Judgement in Anne Arundel District Court.
In 2009, another assault charge filed by Deberry against Knight was dropped.
On July 5, 2005, Deberry was found guilty of assault on Knight and was sent to jail for one year with all but ten days suspended by the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
SEVERN, MD. — Police and Fire officials are now investigating a suspicious fire as being a case of murder after discovering a second body and several dead animals in the remains of the fire. The house that burned was burned once before earlier in 2015. The Anne Arundel County homicide unit has joined the investigation that has now shifted from fire investigators to murder investigators.
“There are several suspicious factors in regards to the deaths coupled with evidence recovered from the scene,” said police.
According to Anne Arundel Police, on Thursday, December 10, 2015, at approximately 3:40 a.m., members of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department responded to a dwelling fire in the 1200 block of Old Camp Meade Road, Severn, Maryland. This residence was under construction due to a previous fire in February 2015. Once fire officials were able to get the fire under control, a deceased human body was discovered on the first floor of the residence.
Police report that at approximately 6:00 a.m., Anne Arundel County Fire Department personnel requested the assistance of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Homicide Unit. Working in conjunction with the Fire Department/Fire Marshalls Office, and the Anne Arundel County Police Evidence Collection Unit a major scene processing was underway.
The white female human remains were recovered and transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner located in Baltimore Maryland. Several animal remains were also recovered from the fire scene. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the unidentified remains as detectives are assisting with obtaining a positive identification.
The fire scene was secured overnight as a further search was needed along with the use of large equipment to conduct a further search of the residence in a safe environment. On Friday, December 11, 2015, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department /Fire Marshalls office, Department of Public Works, Bay Area Recovery Canines and the Anne Arundel County Homicide Unit responded back to the scene of the residence fire.
The Department of Public Works utilized large equipment to help remove heavy debris and secure dangerous areas within the residence. Once the scene was secured Fire Department recruits sifted through the rubble and debris in search of any evidence and or victims. Bay Area Recovery Canines also utilized specially trained dogs to assistance with the search through the debris.
The Anne Arundel County Evidence Collection Unit collected items of evidentiary value located in the area of the deceased male in regards to the fire deaths investigation. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner responded back to the scene and transported the male remains to Baltimore so an autopsy could be performed on December 12, 2015. The Anne Arundel County Police Homicide Unit is also assisting with the identification of the deceased white male found in the residence.
At this point in the joint investigation between the Police and Fire Departments, the police department is assuming command of the investigation. There are several suspicious factors in regards to the deaths coupled with evidence recovered from the scene.
Anne Arundel Police says that this has been a collaborative effort from several Anne Arundel County Agencies and is very fluid as information is being pieced together.
The Anne Arundel County Police are urging anyone with information to come forward by calling Homicide Detective Dan Myers at 410-222-3413. If people with information wish to remain anonymous, they can also contact the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line 410-222- 4700 or Metro Crime Stoppers.
This report was filed by the Anne Arundel Fire Department the day of the fire
(Millersville, MD) One occupant of a dwelling was killed and a second occupant is not accounted for following an early morning fire this morning in Severn.
Just before 3:40 this morning firefighters responded to the 1200 block of Old Camp Meade Road in Severn for a reported dwelling fire. The initial caller to 911 stated that the second floor of the house was on fire and upon arrival of firefighters the dwelling was 100% involved. The fire was brought under control in 40 minutes by 50 firefighters from Anne Arundel County, Fort Meade and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Upon searching the structure firefighters discovered one victim deceased on the first floor. Family members indicated the likelihood that there would have been two occupants at home at the time of the fire. Additional searches and fire investigation have been delayed by the structural instability of the dwelling including an unstable chimney and weakened floors.
Members of the Anne Arundel County Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit are on the scene, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. The damage to the dwelling is estimated at approximately $300,000 and is a complete loss.
This dwelling was the location of a two-alarm fire on February 13th of this year and was in the process of being repaired. On that date, firefighters were dispatched to this address for a dwelling fire and found heavy fire conditions on the second floor. A second alarm was requested bringing firefighters to the scene from Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Fort Meade and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. The cause of the February fire was not determined but was believed to be accidental in nature. There is currently not believed to be any connection between the February incident and today’s fire.