When Baltimore City firefighters responded to a vehicle fire in Leakin Park around 11 p.m. on Wednesday night and discovered a body inside the trunk, homicide detectives in Anne Arundel County had a strong suspicion about the victim’s identity.

The night before, a woman in a parking garage saw what she thought was a stabbing and reported it to Anne Arundel County police around 9 p.m. She told detectives she saw two men force another man into the back of a vehicle at gunpoint, then quickly drive off.

On Friday morning, the Baltimore Police Department identified the victim as 39-year-old Steven Gillus. A social media profile for Gillus showed that he was a father with young children.

Just after the reported abduction, police located what they described as a “crime scene” on the second level of the garage that night in Arundel Preserve, a development down the street from the Arundel Mills shopping center.

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Burn marks appear in the road where the body of a man abducted from Anne Arundel County was found in the trunk of a burning car in Leakin Park. This image was taken on Thursday morning, September 22, 2022.

On Thursday, Baltimore detectives notified them that firefighters had discovered the body of Gillis inside the burning vehicle. They noted that he had been shot at least once.

“Through coordination with Baltimore City Police, Anne Arundel County Police Homicide detectives were able to confirm that the deceased male was the victim from the incident at the Anne Arundel Preserve,” Anne Arundel County Police said in a press release.

Anne Arundel County Police homicide detectives and the Baltimore City Police Department are asking anyone with information to contact 410-222-4731. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to call the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line at 410-222-4700.

Banner reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this report.


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Ben Conarck is a criminal justice reporter for The Baltimore Banner. Previously, he covered healthcare and investigations for the Miami Herald and criminal justice for the Florida Times-Union.

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