LARGO, Md. -- The car in which a mother and daughter were found dead was stolen after its keys were taken in a burglary, sources said.
At a community meeting Wednesday night, Prince George's Police gave residents living in fear information about new leads they are following and new reason for concern.
Investigators believe Monday's double murder of Delores and Ebony Dewitt may be tied to a series of break-ins and burglaries in the neighborhood, police said. Investigators believe the thieves may be stealing spare sets of keys, then returning later to steal the family car.
Wednesday night, police made a chilling request to the already-unnerved residents of Largo: Go home, look for your keys, and if you're missing a set, call the police.
Delores Dewitt, 42, and her 19-year-old daughter, Ebony, were discovered inside a car in the driveway of an empty home early Monday morning. Firefighters were called to Webbwood Court in Largo at about 3:40 a.m. and found the bodies after putting out the flames, Cpl. Mike Rodriguez said.
The car had been reported stolen from a home a few blocks away. The residents had reported a break-in two weeks ago but at the time had not noticed anything missing. Police now believe the car keys were stolen that night.
Detectives are pursuing two men but do not know yet if they will turn out to be suspects in the Dewitt murders, Prince George's County Police Chief Roberto Hylton said. Investigators have had about 30 leads, including a burglary on March 13 on Pickering Circle, a block away from this week's crime. A black Cadillac may have been used as a getaway vehicle, police said.
Investigators also are looking for the women's bags: a multicolored Fossil handbag and a black patent leather handbag with a large Cadillac emblem. Neither bag has been seen since the women were found dead.
During a candlelight vigil for the victims Thursday night, Delores Dewitt's other daughter, who was not at the house in the incident happened, spoke out publicly for the first time since the murders.
"I love every last one of y'all," said Dewitt's surviving daughter to the vigil attendees. "Just pray for me. Please do that, pray for me and my family."
On Jan. 26, Karen Lofton, 45, and her 16-year-old daughter, Karissa, were shot to death less than a mile from the scene of Monday's crime.
Police are investigating whether the two double homicides are related, sources said.
"We have four women who have been murdered, now, that have, from what we can see, been involved in nothing wrong," Prince George's County police Maj. Andy Ellis said. "We have two young girls in their teens that have been murdered. It's outrageous and it's very sad."
The Loftons were shot, but the Dewitts were not, police said. Their cause of death is not yet known.
"We have detectives working around the clock on this case," Ellis said. "It's priority one for this agency."