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'I hope it is a wakeup call': Murdered 60-year-old Canton volunteer remembered

Police circulate photo of possible suspect
Victor Malabayabas
Murdered Canton volunteer
Posted at 4:06 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 19:42:28-04

BALTIMORE — Pop up rose bushes sit idle in their temporary containers outside the Baltimore Hatton Senior Center where Victor Malabayabas volunteered to use his green thumb to help transform the lawn into a beautiful composition of vegetables, flowers and plants.

Plans were cut short when an assault during a robbery outside his home on South Kenwood Avenue cost him his life.

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“He took over the garden, provided tons of vegetables for everybody and everybody looked forward to seeing him everyday,” said the center’s manager, Adrienne Blumberg, “I mean he was literally here seven days a week.”

More than three weeks after Malabayabas' death, his murder remains unsolved, but within the last 24 hours, police have made a new appeal for the public’s help.

Homicide detectives have released photos of a suspect seen fleeing the murder scene in a gold Buick Regal.

Detectives believe it is the same man who asked Malabayabas for a tissue outside his front door and then knocked him to the ground before snatching his wallet.

Murdered Canton volunteer

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The victim died from injuries sustained during that assault a few days later.

As the search continues for his killer, others have volunteered to make Malabayabas' dream for the green space outside the senior center become a reality and upon its completion, it will carry a plaque officially naming it “Victor’s Garden.”

A tribute to a man who gave freely of himself to his community before it was suddenly taken away.

“I hope it is a wakeup call,” said Blumberg, “because he was just a wonderful, wonderful man, and it certainly impacted a lot of people here at the center.”