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MD LEOPOLD CHROMAK: Missing from Wheaton, MD - 26 July 1975 - Age 29

Discussion in 'Missing 1900 to 1979' started by Scorpio, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    [​IMG]

    NamUs: https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/22749
    Doe Network: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/4878dmmd.html

    Leopold Lynwood Chromak disappeared on July 26, 1975. Two days later, his wife contacted police and reported him missing.

    “But Mr. Chromak was never located, never returned home,” said Lucille Baur, of Montgomery County police.

    In 1984, a detective got information that the missing person case was actually a murder-for-hire and that Chromak’s wife, Frances, hired three men - Griffin, Smitty and Bobby Coley - to kill her husband because he abused and beat her, according to the 1984 warrant. They allegedly smothered Chromak at Winexburg Manor Apartments, wrapped his body in a rug or carpet, took it to a van, and dumped it along Central Avenue.
     
  2. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/...n-in-1975-Murder-for-Hire-Case-155848215.html

    Unexpected Apprehension in 1975 Murder-for-Hire Case

    One of the oldest cold case murders in Montgomery County may have been solved -- by accident.

    Bobby Coley, 63, of southeast Washington, was applying for work as a temp Tuesday. A background check uncovered an outstanding warrant against him. When he went to the sheriff’s office to clear his name and land the job, he had no idea the warrant was for murder.

    “We weren’t finding anything, and so we finally looked in judicial case search and we actually saw that a warrant popped up under that name, Bobby Coley, and it said, ‘first-degree murder,’” Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin said.

    The victim, Leopold Lynwood Chromak, disappeared July 26, 1975. Two days later his wife contacted police and reported him missing.

    “But Mr. Chromak was never located, never returned home,” said Lucille Baur, of Montgomery County police.

    In 1984, a detective got information that the missing person case was actually a murder-for-hire and that Chromak’s wife, Frances, hired three men -- Griffin, Smitty and Bobby Coley -- to kill her husband because he abused and beat her, according to the 1984 warrant. They allegedly smothered Chromak at Winexburg Manor Apartments, wrapped his body in a rug or carpet, took it to a van and dumped it along Central Avenue.

    The 63-year-old Coley, who has been in and out of federal custody on various charges since 1968, was in the D.C. Jail when the arrest warrant was filed in 1984 but apparently wasn’t detained afterward and apparently never knew of the warrant.

    The detective investigating the murder-for-hire said Frances Chromak changed her name to Barbara Ann Stevens and moved to Laurel. Her whereabouts are unknown but she is believed to still be alive.

    The 1975 murder case presents challenges for prosecutors. No body has been found, there is no direct evidence against Coley and anonymous sources who supplied the information may not be available.

    “So now the investigating begins anew,” Baur said. “Now we go back. We find the original case files, the records.”

    The public defender representing Coley in court said there’s no proof there was a murder and it’s unfair to hold Coley in jail while police and prosecutors investigate. In Montgomery County District Court, the prosecutor said he has to assess the viability of the 37-year-old case.

    Coley is being held without bond.
     
  3. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    http://www.abajournal.com/news/arti...rder_charge_from_1975_defendant_sees_case_di/

    Jailed Tuesday on Unexpected Murder Charge from 1975, Defendant Sees Case Dismissed on Thursday

    Earlier this week, Bobby Coley showed up at the Montgomery County, Md., sheriff’s department to clear up what he understood to be a minor arrest warrant that was standing in the way of his application for a custodian job at a local hospital.

    Imagine his surprise to discover that he was wanted in the claimed 1975 murder of a former employer, Leopold Chromak, whose body has never been found, the Washington Post reports.

    Jailed on Tuesday, the 63-year-old was released on Thursday after a prosecutor told a local judge during a Wednesday hearing in Rockville that officials are scrambling to figure out what is happening in the case. Coley was arrested under a 1984 warrant, which was never executed even though he was jailed in Washington, D.C., at that time on apparently unrelated charges that were eventually dismissed. Meanwhile, the murder case doesn’t appear to have been active for decades.

    On Thursday, the state dismissed the murder charge, but it could still be refiled at a later date.

    “I feel like, you knew where I was when I was in jail and for the past 38 years, and now you done come to me when I’m 63 years old? They knew where I was all this time,” Coley said.

    As to the possibility of further investigation, “they can investigate me for the rest of my life,” he continued. ” I had nothing to do with this. [Chromak] was good to me.”.
     
  4. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    [​IMG]

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    Winexburg Manor Apartments.
     
  5. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    [​IMG]

    They allegedly smothered Chromak at Winexburg Manor Apartments, wrapped his body in a rug or carpet, took it to a van and dumped it along Central Avenue.
     
  6. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

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