ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — The remains of a man that was murdered in Anne Arundel County in 2015 were recently found in Carroll County, according to Anne Arundel County Police.
On Thanksgiving Day 2015, at approximately 2:58 p.m., the Baltimore County Police Department took a report of a missing adult. The missing adult was identified as Mark Edward Hatmaker, a 50-year-old man who lived in the 3100 block of Freeway, Halethorpe, Maryland. During the initial investigation, Baltimore County Police learned Hatmaker went missing on November 24, 2015 after he left his residence to meet an associate.
Early in the investigation Baltimore County Police deemed this investigation as a critical missing person and the Baltimore County Homicide Unit took over the investigation. The unit worked diligently in the investigation into the disappearance of Hatmaker. Baltimore County Homicide notified the Anne Arundel County Police of their investigation as the associate who was last to see him lived in Anne Arundel County.
Through Baltimore County Homicide’s investigation they learned that Hatmaker was supposed to have conducted a substantial illicit controlled dangerous substance transaction. On November 24, 2015, at around 10:00 a.m., he left his residence with a large amount of money to meet an associate, Richard Wayne Brooks, in order to complete the drug transaction. He had not been seen or heard from since he left that morning to meet with Brooks.
Baltimore County Homicide Detectives interviewed Brooks who confirmed that he did meet with Hatmaker on the morning of November 24. He said they met on the parking lot of Empire Towers located in the 7300 block of Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie. He also told Baltimore County Homicide Detectives that he had nothing to do with the Hatmaker's disappearance.
As Baltimore County Homicide Detectives sifted through the evidence and facts from various witnesses they discovered that Brooks had a person rent a U-Haul truck on the afternoon of November 24. The acquaintance agreed to rent the U-Haul truck for him due to the fact Brooks did not have a credit card. The person said Brooks took the U-Haul truck but does not know what he used it for. Baltimore County Homicide detectives learned that during the U-Haul truck transaction, Brooks purchased 45 gallon heavy duty bags, polypropylene tape, and a tarp measuring 9x12 feet.
Baltimore County Homicide detectives located the U-Haul truck and acquired a search and seizure warrant for the truck. A search of the interior storage area of the U-Haul truck revealed what appeared to be a large amount of suspected human blood, which was visible using an alternative light source and luminol. This process is used by criminalists/crime scene technicians to detect blood at crime scenes. The U-Haul truck appeared to have been cleaned. As detectives searched the U-Haul truck for further items of evidentiary value, there were suspected blood droplets, visible to the human eye, on the rear bumper area. The suspected human blood was examined and through forensic analysis was determined to be Hatmaker's blood.
Baltimore County Homicide Detectives then learned that Brooks owned a recreational vehicle that had been stored between August 2015 and November 2015 in the area of Main Avenue SW in Glen Burnie. This location is a short distance from where he met with Hatmaker on the day of his disappearance.
According to witness interviews, Brooks abruptly moved the recreational vehicle from that location. However, Baltimore County Homicide Detectives were able to locate the recreational vehicle in Baltimore City.
Baltimore County Homicide detectives secured the vehicle and executed a search warrant on it. Detectives located a large amount of suspected human blood in the living area of the recreational vehicle, to include the floor, walls and ceiling along with suspected human tissue. The suspected human blood was examined and through forensic analysis the suspected blood that was inside the recreational vehicle was determined to be that of Hatmaker.
Through Baltimore County Homicide Unit’s thorough investigation the evidence indicated that Hatmaker was murdered in Glen Burnie. On March 8, 2016, the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Homicide Unit executed a search warrant on the recreational vehicle belonging to Brooks. During the execution of the search warrant, a representative from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner located in Baltimore Maryland reviewed items of evidentiary value related to the investigation as well as the crime scene contained within the recreational vehicle.
On March 10, 2016, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner issued the following opinion pertaining to the amount of blood present in the recreational vehicle: Provided the blood is all from one individual, this amount of blood is not consistent with normal activities of living, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
The next day, Anne Arundel County Homicide Detectives secured an arrest warrant charging Richard Wayne Brooks, a 50 year old male from the 8200 block of Lexington Drive, Odenton, with Second Degree Murder.
In March of 2018, Brooks was convicted of First and Second Degree Murder in the death of Hatmaker after a jury trial in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of Parole.
At the time of his sentencing, the remains of Hatmaker had not been found despite numerous efforts from both the Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County Police Department working together.
A known DNA profile of Hatmaker was placed into a national database called CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System.
On March 30, 2019, members of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office responded to an address located in Westminster in reference to a report of discovered remains, possibly human. The suspected human remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland for analysis. The remains were determined to be human. Subsequent DNA testing was conducted in an attempt to determine the identity of the individual. The known DNA profile of the human remains were also placed into CODIS.
In November 2020, law enforcement was notified that the recovered human remains were that of Hatmaker.
Even though an arrest and conviction has been made in this investigation the Anne Arundel County Police are urging anyone with information to come forward by calling the Anne Arundel County Homicide Unit at 410-222-4731. If people with information wish to remain anonymous they can also contact the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line 410-222-4700 or Metro Crime Stoppers.