GLEN BURNIE, Md. — He made his home at an encampment tucked in the woods off of Route 10, but 57-year-old Kenneth Linton was a familiar face at a nearby liquor store where news of his murder has brought a sizable measure of grief.
"It was heartbreaking,” said the owner, Albert Shahverdi, “This guy, I knew for a year or two. He's a harmless person. He just happened to be homeless, but heart of gold. He even helped other people."
Before Linton's body was discovered, police say another homeless man, 49-year-old Michael Grossman, reported to an officer that he and a woman had been attacked by three unknown men at that same campsite, and that Linton was nowhere in sight, but the female witness soon offered up the real story.
"She was a little nervous coming forward at first, rightfully so, but then she was able to tell detectives that Mr. Grossman and our victim were engaged in a physical altercation,” said Sgt. Jacklyn Davis of the Anne Arundel County Police Department. “She also said that she thought that the victim was just severely injured. She didn't realize that he had passed."
When the victim never re-surfaced, a man, who did not wish to be identified, said reality set in for the only witness to the crime.
"She was worried. I talked to her yesterday when I was drinking a beer with her, and she was worried that this guy, Mike, stabbed him to death," the man told us. "Mike just got out of jail for stabbing a guy named Tony, another homeless guy named Tony who is from Phoenix, Arizona."
But this stabbing proved to be fatal, just as the victim was on the verge of reclaiming his life and leaving his wooded campsite behind for good.
"He told me he was in the process of getting housing, and he was eligible, and, supposedly, he was going to get it in a week or two," said Shahverdi.
According to charging documents, police found a bloody hammer and a knife at the campsite consistent with where the witness said Grossman faced off with the victim and delivered the fatal blows.