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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Homicide Investigation Underway In Worcester Co.


(Pocomoke, MD) – Maryland State Police homicide investigators are investigating an apparent double murder suicide of three found dead in a Worcester County home early this morning.

The victims are identified as Marvin Wilmer. Purnell, 78, and Karen E. Purnell, 53, of the 2200-block of Groton Road, Pocomoke, MD. Both of the victims’ bodies will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy. Investigators anticipate the autopsy will verify the cause and manner of death.

The suspect is identified as Marvin Desmond Purnell, 46, of the 2200-block of Groton Road, Pocomoke, MD. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m. today, deputies from the Worcester Sherriff’s Department responded to a call to the Purnell residence to check on the welfare of Karen. Karen’s friend had not heard from her for some time and physically responded to the Purnell residence. Karen’s friend contacted the Worcester Sherriff’s Department after receiving no answer and smelling a very strong disturbing odor coming from the residence.

When deputies arrived at the home, they found it to be secure from the outside, with no signs of forced entry. Deputies attempted to make contact with someone inside the residence. As deputies continued attempts to make contact they heard the voice of a male. Deputies asked the male to open the door and the male failed to comply with commands to open the door.

Deputies were able to retrieve a key to the Purnell residence and gained access. Deputies found two decomposing bodies, later identified as Marvin Wilmer. and Karen, lying on the kitchen floor and a third body in the hallway opposite the kitchen, later identified as Marvin Desmond. After observing the three bodies, deputies exited the home for safety and to setup a perimeter.

Deputies attempted to contact Marvin Desmond by cell phone and loud speaker. The efforts continued for approximately one hour. Deputies deployed a CS gas canister through a window located on the west end of the residence in an attempt to force any occupant out of the residence. As a result of the CS canister being deployed a fire ignited in the residence. The Pocomoke Fire Department responded to the scene to extinguish the fire.

Deputies and fire fighters entered the residence and extricated the body of Marvin Desmond. A rifle was located beneath his body. Examination of Marvin Desmond revealed what appeared to be single gunshot wound. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit was requested to respond and take the lead on this investigation. Additional assistance is being provided by State Police Criminal Enforcement Division investigators and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators have been interviewing witnesses and residents in the area throughout the day. Crime scene evidence has been transported to the State Police Forensic Sciences Division crime laboratory for analysis. State Police crime scene technicians processed the scene. This investigation continues.

16 comments:

Zorro said...

Good job Joe on this....I believe Karen was a social worker as well....very sad

Anonymous said...

Very sad situation...thank God for caring friends and co workers without them in this situation who knows how long they would have remained in that home!

Anonymous said...

Flash Bang? They were ALREADY in the house, saw 3 deceased.
They retreat and try to call one of the dead guys who doesnt answer and throw in a flash bang and set the house on fire?
Really? Did they not hear his phone ringing in his pocket?
Who are these keystone cops?
Stupid stupid stupid.

Anonymous said...

Where does it say flash bang? Moron. Maybe you should read again, no mention of a flash bang. Where did you receive your keystone education?...

Anonymous said...

6:41 how did they know there wasn't someone else in the home? They didn't! Your comment is beyond asinine and you really really need to engage in forward thinking skills before commenting nonsense.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad for the survivors. I pray that Father God wraps His loving arms around them and gives them comfort and peace. May they not dwell on this tragedy and rely on the good memories of their loved ones to get them through.

Anonymous said...

And folks that's why you use a flameless expulsion method of delivery. Sounds like someone screwed up and used the wrong CS canister.

Anonymous said...

Who cares easy case. Closed Murder Suicide. Obvious what happened write the report and move on. Nothing to see here but tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Yea lighting a crime scene on fire is a brilliant move.
Especially after you were already in the house and saw that everyone was not alive anymore.
Keystone cops they are ....

Anonymous said...

8:16 I guess the cops didn't use much forward thinking to burn down their crime scene.

Anonymous said...

A lot of you must have reading comprehension issues. The person who killed Karen and Marvin, which was Marvin's son, was still alive when police entered the house. They then retreated and set up a plan on entry incase there were other hostages or an individual looking to do them harm. After the initial contact, the killer shot himself and then the police entered again. Complaining about setting the "crime scene" on fire when it is an open and shut case is pointless. The police tried to keep themselves out of harms way. Really it is just a sad story about a family member going postal and killing his father and aunt. But you keyboard warriors are worried about the crime scene when everyone involved is dead. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

And yes when they first went to the house they heard the man's voice so 1:38 you are incorrect. Please read again if you must in order to comprehend and then be able to comment logically. You people watch too much CSI and think because of that you know what you are talking about. Suspects dead so crime scene is a non issue. What do you think they do? Go around taking samples and do ballistics, DNA, fingerprints, etc. No there isn't to be any trial. Even if suspect hadn't died and was arrested and charged it's an open and shut case. It's not like it was a who done and is now on the run. that's when a crime scene preservation is important. Again stop relying on TV for your imagined expertise.

Anonymous said...

1:38 You are a special kind of stupid and probably not worth bothering with but again they had no idea if anyone else was in the house. At the time they had no idea the man had committed suicide. For all they knew someone killed him also. They had no idea at the time the 3rd body was Purnell himself and that this wasn't a hostage type situation w/more people and the shooter still alive and in the home somewhere. Use some common sense why don't you. Don't let your extreme hatred of LE turn you into a fool by your idiotic words and silly reasoning. It's not like this is rocket science or anything.

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with the family.

Anonymous said...

This press release is a bit confusing. They said they heard a voice....did they not hear a gun shot after that? Did he shoot himself before the police arrived? Was he calling for help?

Anonymous said...

yea because cops always tell the exact truth about a chain of events