By Michelle Richardson, Special to the AFRO

Marco Holmes, 24, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of Tanja Chadwick, 20, in early 2017. The sentenced was handed down July 19.

Holmes was found guilty of Second Degree murder. The 50-year sentence is the maximum penalty offered in the state of Maryland.

Marco Holmes (left), was recently sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Tanja Chadwick. (Courtesy Photo)

Chadwick, the mother of a then 4-year-old, and aspiring nurse, was dating Holmes when he shot the young woman and then dumped her body.

On January 28, 2017, Chadwick left a relative’s house “to go meet her boyfriend Marco” at the apartment that the couple shared. Chadwick left her son with family that weekend and that was the last time her family heard from her.

Several days later, Chadwick’s body was found in West Baltimore’s Daisy Field, buried under leaves and heavy tree branches.

An autopsy confirmed Chadwick was killed with a single gunshot to the forehead. She also had bruising on her biceps and hands

The chief medical examiner stated “the suspect’s DNA was under the victim’s fingernails.”

Chadwick’s family grew suspicious and filed a missing person report with police when Holmes said the young mother never came to meet him and calls to her cell phone kept going to voicemail.

Chadwick’s cell phone was eventually found by a maintenance worker at the Mannasota Manor Apartment complex, less than a mile from the couple’s apartment.

“While nothing can bring this mother back to her young child, I pray this sentence brings some peace of mind to this family who has had to endure the unimaginable,” said Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby in a statement.

“This defendant not only killed this young mother but deceived her family, and he will be locked away from society for a very long time, as he deserves,” the statement also said.

Holmes has also been charged with the use of a firearm in a crime of violence and carrying, transporting, or wearing a handgun.