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Cold Case: Nun's killing remains unsolved tragedy

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Cold Case

The murder of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik has confounded detectives for decades.

On Nov. 7, 1969, Sister Catherine left her apartment in Southwest Baltimore to pick up items at a grocery store and to cash a check. But she never returned home.

On Jan. 3, 1970, two hunters found her decomposed body at a dumping area in southern Baltimore County. Sister Catherine died from a severe blow to the head and from neck injuries.

Investigators interviewed many people, including a Jesuit priest with whom she had formed a romantic relationship. But no one was charged in her slaying, and the case grew cold.

Police reopened the case in 1994, after a former student at an all-girls school claimed that a former priest had implicated another priest in the nun's death. Investigators excavated a pit at a cemetery seeking buried records, but no evidence was found to solve the case, and it was shelved.

The current theory now is that Sister Catherine had been abducted in front of her residence as she was returning from the store, and forced back into her car, according to the Baltimore County police website.

It is believed Sister Catherine was driven to a field where she was assaulted and murdered. Her green Ford Maverick was recovered in the early morning hours of Nov. 8, 1969, parked within walking distance of her residence. Detectives believe the person responsible lived in the area of Sister Catherine's apartment.

Police are asking the public for information that can help solve this cold case. Anyone with information about it is urged to contact the Baltimore County police at 410-887-3943.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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