EDGEWOOD, Md. — He loved his dogs, working on cars like this one in his front yard and 71-year-old Gerald Champ loved people.
“He would do anything for you,” said Dave Nuckols, one of Champ’s friends. “I came over here quite a few times and helped him out and this and that.”
“My car broke and he gave me rides,” added Barbara Tutin.
But Champ’s good heartedness may have left him vulnerable.
“We’ve known him to be in contact with people of not such good character. Let’s put it that way,” said Col. William Davis of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
On Friday, deputies responded to champ’s home after someone found him suffering from what they initially thought was a medical emergency.
They later learned he had died from blunt force trauma.
“This was a particularly brutal homicide as well,” said Davis. “I don’t want to go into the particulars of it, because the investigation is still progressing, but we believe he died somewhere between February 14th and February 18th when we discovered the body.”
Police say there were signs of a struggle inside the home, and family and friends say Champ’s health in recent years may have made it difficult to fight back.
“I don’t know who would do it,” said Tutin. “I just have no idea who would hurt a man like that.”
It appears the killer or killers stole small items from the house and perhaps the biggest clue is the victim’s SUV, which is nowhere to be found.
If you’ve seen that missing vehicle---what his family describes as a goldish tan 2003 Ford Explorer with Maryland tag number 09680HT or if you know anything else that could help police, you’re asked to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.