TOWSON, Md. — The body of the victim, 43-year-old Lashawnda Sanders, turned up in the doorway of her room at this Howard Johnson hotel in Pikesville back in November, and this surveillance video of someone looming outside in the hallway just prior to the deadly shooting would help lead police to her alleged killer.
“We were looking for a suspect so we put out that surveillance video hoping that would lead to some information that would move this investigation along, and that’s exactly what happened,” said Joy Stewart of the Baltimore County Police Department.
A pair of tipsters reported the victim had a sexual relationship with a man whose girlfriend appeared in the video. Detectives later interviewed the woman, who has now been identified at 29-year-old Ayanna Michelle Allen, but in the absence of hard evidence, they didn’t arrest her, and she later fled the state.
The final piece of the puzzle came when investigators learned that Allen’s boyfriend had been arrested on weapons charges in Baltimore City a few months after the killing and his .357 Magnum matched the ballistics of the gun used to gun down Sanders.
Working with other law enforcement agencies, they tracked down Allen in North Carolina. “Even if someone leaves the state, our detectives are going to track them down and they’re going to make an arrest,” said Stewart.
Allen is being held on a series of charges including First Degree Murder.
No motive was ever released.