A 22-year-old Baltimore man has been charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend, city police said.
Marco Holmes, 22, of the 700 block of Edgewood Street faces charges of first- and second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and gun charges in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Tonja Chadwick, 20.
22-year-old Marco Holmes (left), has been charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend, 20-year-old Tonja Chadwick. (Baltimore Police Department/Facebook)
Holmes was taken into custody on an unrelated probation violation charge days after Chadwick’s body was found. Holmes was initially named a person of interest in Chadwick’s disappearance when police found “evidence of a crime scene” at their Parkside Garden apartment and Holmes went missing.
Tonja Chadwick was last seen on Jan. 28 when she dropped her four-year-old son off at her aunt’s home. Her family said they feared something was wrong because it was highly unusual for Chadwick to not answer phone calls or text messages from family.
After Holmes told Chadwick’s family that she had not returned to their apartment, a maintenance man at another apartment found Tonja’s cellphone on the property. Her family then reported her missing.
Police said investigators found evidence of a crime scene in the apartment Chadwick and Holmes shared, leading to her being labeled a “critically missing person.” Blood was found in the apartment and it looked like someone had tried to clean it up, police said.
Chadwick and her car were missing for a week before her body was found wrapped in bedding in Southwest Baltimore’s Daisy Park. She had been shot in the head and had trauma to her body.
Baltimore City Police spokesman. T.J. Smith said her killer “committed the equally disgusting act of discarding her body” where she was found. “It’s an absolutely repulsive act with little regard for human life.”
“It feels like a nightmare,” said Latanya Chadwick, Tonja’s aunt. Tonja lived with her aunt on and off after her mother moved to the Eastern Shore. She had moved in with Holmes a week before her disappearance.
Chadwick’s family said that there were undocumented cases of domestic violence between her niece and Holmes and that he once choked Tonja until she blacked out.
Family described Tonja as a loving and devoted mother who completed a program in August to become a geriatric nursing assistant. She had plans to go to nursing school. Chadwick’s family is now focused on raising her four-year-old son and planning her funeral.
Holmes, who was released from prison a year ago on probation, has a history of violent crimes including armed robbery, first-degree assault, theft, reckless endangerment, and intent to injure with a deadly weapon. Police did not disclose what information Holmes gave them that led to him being charged.