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Police confirm person of interest in case of 69-year-old woman killed inside Baltimore church

Posted at 10:16 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 06:24:25-05

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Police have confirmed a person of interest has been identified in the case of a 69-year-old woman who was killed inside of a church in East Baltimore.

Police haven’t released any other details on the individual.

On Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced an all hands on deck effort to find Evelyn Player’s killer. He’s directed all state police agencies to help Baltimore Police in its investigation to find Evelyn Player’s killer.

He also announced the state is offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

RELATED: State of Maryland putting up $100k reward in effort to find Evelyn Player's killer

Investigators said Player was killed early Tuesday morning inside of Southern Baptist Church.

Donte Hickman, who is the Pastor of the church, said she worked as the church sexton and attended the church since she was a child.

Player’s daughter said she was there to let contractors in who were renovating the building.

“Everybody is heartbroken, “ Hickman said.

Hickman is still trying to process the death of Player. He’s known her for nearly 20 years and described her as a the “sheriff” of the church.

He also described her as, “a candid, comical, authentic [and] genuine person.”

Hickman fought back tears when he reflected on their last conversation. He said it was about when church services will return to in person.

“She always had concerns for her church and the best for everybody,” he said. “That was our last conversation. The day before she passed, just in the restroom across from where we talked.”

Hickman said the entire church community continues to mourn the loss as they try to understand why someone would commit such a heinous act inside of such a sacred place like a church.

“I felt violated. I couldn’t believe someone would come into this church, a church that serves the community, that feeds the community, that clothes community, vaccinates the community, that someone would come in and perform this heinous act against an elderly woman who walked with a limp who did nothing to hurt anybody but was nice and a friend to everybody.”

Hickman is hoping the increased reward money will lead to an arrest.

“God is a God of justice and vengeance. And this not something that you do to someone’s life,” he said. “But this is what the church exists for and any other person like that person needs to take a lesson from this and embrace the love of god instead of the hate of the enemy.”

Pastor Hickman also thanks the governor for taking the case seriously, but he said more work needs to be done to fix the ills plaguing Baltimore City.

“When you have this type of environment, you create a savage mentality and it’s been going on here for more than four decades and it’s too long,” he said.

There’s also been increased patrols in the area of the church with state police and other agencies helping Baltimore Police monitor the neighborhood.