Police Look for Possible Links in Olney Homicides

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Montgomery County police are investigating two homicides in Olney, Md., that took place in less than a week. (Published Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011)

    Though police know of no link, they are checking to see if two recent homicides in Olney, Md., are related.

    Punyasara Gedara, 41, was shot in the 3400 block of North High Street in a quiet Olney neighborhood at about 4 p.m. Monday while he was walking home from his job at the Subway restaurant where he had worked for a week.

    "I had just opened the window and I heard four loud pops," said Seth Fangbone, who lives in a house on North High Street -- two doors from the shooting. "I came running down and saw a group of people over there."

    Montgomery County police officers returned to the scene 24 hours later, paying close attention to a house across the street from where the victim fell. They talked to a crew hired by a bank to clean up the foreclosed property.

    Gedara and his wife moved to the area from Sri Lanka after winning a lottery and a trip to the U.S. with work privileges. They moved in with his uncle, who was working in his yard on Bantry Way and heard the shots. He ran to the scene.

    "He was alive at that moment," Cyril Rajabakse said. "He was trying to tell something to me, but I don’t know what it was, and then someone called 911."

    It was the second homicide in Olney in less than a week. On Friday, police found 81-year-old Nazir Ahmed dead at his home in the 19500 block of Olney Mill Road. He had been shot to death, police said.

    "At this time our detectives are trying to determine if there was any relationship between these two individuals who on the surface would appear not to have this relationship," said Montgomery County Police Department spokeswoman Lucille Baur. "So this does take time for detectives to sift through the evidence to see what link there may be between the two murders."

    A thorough analysis of ballistic evidence from both scenes is being conducted but has not been completed.

    Police do not have a motive or suspect in either homicide.

    Just after the shooting Monday evening, an older model Toyota Camry drove out of the dead-end street toward Georgia Avenue, witnesses told police.


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