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Family of slain Ft. Meade soldier seeks answers as investigation continues

The body of Army veteran Karlyn Serane Ramirez, who died of gunshot wounds, was found Aug. 25, 2015, at her Maryland townhouse, where police found her unresponsive with a five-month-old infant by her side.

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By BEN WEATHERS AND BRANDI BOTTALICO | The Capital, Annapolis, Md. | Published: August 29, 2015

Anne Arundel police are working with the Army's criminal investigations unit after a 24-year-old soldier at Fort George G. Meade was shot to death in Severn this week.

Police found Karlyn Ramirez in her townhome in the 8000 block of Millstone Court after responding to a call for an open door at the residence Tuesday morning.

Ramirez's 5-month-old daughter was found unharmed next to her. Ramirez's family members traveled from Texas to take custody of the child Thursday, county police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said.

As of Friday afternoon, county police remained in the lead of the investigation, Frashure said.

Chuy Ramirez, from San Antonio, who identified himself as Ramirez's brother, declined to comment through Facebook.

“(A)t this time we our selves are still wanting answers,” he wrote in a message Thursday.

Frashure on Friday said homicide investigators have traveled out of state to conduct interviews.

Ramirez was married at the time of her death. Frashure reiterated Friday that Ramirez's husband had been interviewed several times and has remained “accessible” to police.

Ramirez was a private first class and information technology specialist with Fort Meade's 742nd Military Intelligence Battalion, according to information provided by the Army's public affairs office.

She joined the Army in February 2013. At the time she enlisted, she lived in Del Rio, Texas.

Ramirez had been assigned to the installation in April after serving nine months at Camp Humphreys in South Korea. She also had been assigned to Fort Sill, Okla.; Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas; and Fort Gordon, Ga.

With some 52,000 employees on base, Fort Meade is the largest employer in Maryland, Denver Beaulieu-Hains, an installation spokeswoman, said by email.

Only about 8,000 employees are enlisted military. Some 55 percent employees on base are civilians, and another 20 percent are contractors, Beaulieu-Hains said.

While housing is available on base, a number of employees, including servicemen and women, live in the surrounding communities of Severn and Odenton.

Ramirez's townhome is part of the Lake Village Townhomes rental complex. Residents run on the sidewalks of New Disney Road. Kids bike around their blocks. Children swing on one of the playgrounds. An ice cream truck plays the tune of “It's a small world after all.”

People keep to themselves for the most part and many are military.

Candace Poag, who lives in the neighborhood, said she only really knows the names of two people who live in the community, one being her next door neighbor Max Fairweather.

“It's very hard to get to know people though because the turnover is so high because of people coming in and out for different deployments and different stations.”

Fairweather, who has lived in the neighborhood for five years, said the higher number of military in the area doesn't define the community though, it all just depends on the people.

“I'm more gregarious,” he said.

Over the last few years the community has become more populated, Poag said. Base Realignment and Closure made traffic worse, she said.

Wagma Wardaq owns a home a few streets down, she said while on a walk through the neighborhood Friday afternoon. The 15-year resident said over the years the military presence has increased, the area has become busier, especially since the mall and casino were built, and rental prices have risen.

“As soon as military started moving in they increased the rent,” she said. Her cousin had lived in one of the rentals and moved out because of the cost.

Nellie Johnson, a few doors down from Ramirez's residence, said the block she lives on is about half military and half civilians.

“A lot of people stay to themselves,” the three-year resident said. “It's mainly military that come and go.”

Charlie Novoa, a former Marine, has lived in the community for about seven months.

“I've lived in a few places before the military and they've not been like this. It seems like everybody's easy to get along with.”

He said he considers the community very safe.

“It's like a gem compared to the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said.

On Tuesday, a neighbor said her husband was out for a morning walk around 6 a.m. when a little black dog kept following him. The dog scratched his leg and ran toward the unit where Ramirez's body was found. The dog kept running between the two.

“It was more like the dog wanted help,” her husband told her.

Another person also noticed dogs running loose. When the person returned the animals, they entered the Ramirez home through the open door. The person called inside but did not receive any response.

He called police.

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©2015 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.)
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