Cold Case Murder Suspect Released

Insufficient evidence to prosecute at this time

A man taken into custody when he went to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to clear an arrest warrant from his record will be released Thursday due to insufficient evidence in a 1975 murder case.

State’s Attorney John McCarthy announced a murder charge against 63-year-old Bobby Coley will not be prosecuted at this time, but the Montgomery County Police Department Cold Case Squad will continue to investigate.

Coley, of southeast Washington, was applying for a temp job Tuesday when a background check found the outstanding warrant. He was unaware it existed and unaware it was for murder when he went to the sheriff’s office, News4’s Chris Gordon reported.

Leopold Lynwood Chromak disappeared July 26, 1975. In 1984, a detective learned that his disappearance was an alleged murder-for-hire. Chromak’s wife, Frances, allegedly hired three men, including Bobby Coley, to kill her abusive husband, according to the 1984 warrant.

But Coley was not detained after the warrant was filed.

Coley’s public defender argued there wasn’t enough evidence to hold Coley. There’s no direct evidence against Coley, and Chromak’s body wasn’t found.

The whereabouts of Frances Chromak, who is believed to have changed her name and moved to Laurel, are unknown, but authorities believe she is still alive.

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