Missing Woman's Body Found Near Md. Trail

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police in Saint Mary's County are stepping up patrols after Monetta Strickland was found murdered near a trail at Baggett Park in Mechanicsville, Md. News4's Chris Gordon has the latest details.

    The death of a woman discovered near a park trail in St. Mary’s County, Md., has been ruled a homicide, authorities announced Sunday night.

    Moneta Jo Strickland, 32, of California, Md., was last seen Aug. 8 when she was last seen heading to John V. Baggett Park.

    Her vehicle was found at the park near the Three Notch Trail Sunday. Officers and K-9 units searched the area and found Strickland’s fully-clothed body near the trail.

    The Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore determined Strickland's death was a homicide, but an exact cause of death was not released.

    The trail is just a few miles from her home where she was last seen Thursday. Her cousins told News4 she often exercised at the trail.

    "I think it's a random act of violence," Strickland's cousin Gwen Bankins said. "Whoever did this will be brought to justice."

    Bankins said Strickland was engaged to be married next March to Henson Rara, who lives and works in nearby California, Md.

    "it's a big shock," cousin Tanya Jordan said. "She was just to happy about everything."

    A $2,000 award is being offered for any information that leads to a conviction.

    Anyone with information is asked to call TFC Michael Parker at (301) 475-4200 x 1996. You may also provide information by contacting the Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008, Maryland State Police at (301) 475-8955, Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333 or Text your information to CRIMES (274637). Simply enter “TIP239” (847239) before your tip.