Joshua Wayne Crawford (July 2, 1982 – July 2, 2003) was just 21 years old when his life was cut short. He was found dead inside his apartment at 6949 Exeter Court, Frederick, Maryland. His case remains unsolved. This is the Case of the Month for February 2020.
Joshua was the middle son of Donald E. Crawford and Terry Lynn Scalera Horman. He worked for Scalera’s Custom Painting. His hobbies were painting, fishing, playing pool, and spending time with his friends. He left behind an older brother, Brian Crawford, and one younger brother, Marshall Crawford.
In the papers, Joshua’s mom said that she had tried to reach him to celebrate his birthday but somehow, she got no answers. Then the Sheriff’s Department showed up and she knew something bad had happened.
Authorities told her that Joshua’s friends found his body. Whether these friends were eliminated as suspects, I don’t know. They went to his apartment and knocked When they got no answer, they climbed through a window, and found his dead body. According to this article, one of them called police.
Joshua Wayne Crawford was found dead in his Frederick apartment on his 21st birthday. Cause of death: asphyxiation and blunt force injuries. There was duct tape around his head that covered his nose and mouth. His wrists and ankles were bound according to an autopsy report. There was blunt force trauma to the head as well as stab wounds. Detectives found no signs of forced entry making it possible that Joshua knew his killer(s) and let them in himself. However, the before-mentioned article did illustrate a ransacked apartment.
Did the duct tape come from Joshua’s apartment or did the killer(s) bring it with them? Any prints on that tape? If preserved it is a goldmine for the M-Vac. What was used to bind his ankles and wrists? Again, from his apartment or not? If preserved, the M-Vac might catch touch DNA from the binding ends where hands applied pressure to pull the bindings tight.
What object was possibly used to cause the blunt force trauma? Was that object found in the apartment? And the stab wounds, were those delivered ante or post-mortem? What kind of knife? How many stab wounds? How deep? Did the knife come from Joshua’s apartment? Was it ever found? Do we know the order in which all these horrible acts happened?
Official Investigation and Private Investigator
According to the papers, there are no updates from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office which is handling the investigation into Joshua’s death. So his mom hired a private investigator. In the papers she said that she gave the Sheriff’s Office six names of potential suspects. According to her, they only spoke to one of them.
This private investigator is Samuel Hanna. He worked for 38 years as a Deputy in the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, Madison County, Indiana. Then he served as Chief of the Elwood Police Department, Indiana. He is now retired and works as a private investigator. He is quoted saying that he is “just amazed they haven’t made an arrest in this case yet.” Hanna feels sure the case is solvable and has his eye on someone, as per the papers.
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said that he worked on Joshua’s case himself when he was still a detective in the major crimes division. In the papers he stated that every lead “has been thoroughly investigated until exhausted.”
Joshua’s mom is frustrated with the lack of communication. She is also frustrated by not knowing which detective is now handling her son’s case. She struggled to get updates until she got “free legal services of a staff attorney for the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center just last year.” One thing this lawyer achieved was the return of some of Joshua’s personal possessions. Those items had been taken into evidence after the crime.
1: When Joshua’s dead body was found he was still wearing his jewelry. Those items were appraised at approx. one thousand dollars. Does this mean that we can rule out robbery?
It depends on the number of items. Wear five pieces of $200 and you reach that amount. So we need to know exactly what kind of jewelry. Did any of those items ever surface on the black market or in pawnshops?
The fact that he was still wearing his jewelry may point to a personal reason to kill instead of a robbery gone wrong.
2: Online I read that one item stolen from the apartment was a Peavey 6 string Predator Electric guitar with a hunter green base, chrome, a black neck, and a whammy bar.
I googled this guitar. It doesn’t seem to be super-expensive. You can get one under three hundred dollars. However, it is my personal opinion that this guitar is not expensive.
Was it possibly a collectible? Maybe autographed by an artist? Did it belong to Joshua?
The information about the missing guitar comes from an online article that now seems to be gone. I posted screenshots. Note that the guitar was not the only stolen item.
If you have any information about this case please contact the Fredericksburg Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 301-600-4131. You can remain anonymous. If you wish to speak directly to an investigator dial 301-600-3660.
Rest in peace, Joshua Wayne Crawford.
In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis and of course, often more information can be found online and in newspaper archives.
The goal of these posts is to get the cases back in the spotlights, to get people talking again, and if anything to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are unsolved does not mean that we can forget about them.
If you have any thoughts about this case I encourage you to post them on your own social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. Every time that we mention Joshua Wayne Crawford’s name online we enhance his digital footprint.
We must make sure that he keeps his web presence if we ever wish to find answers in his case. You can help by linking to or sharing this post.
Thank you for remembering Joshua Wayne Crawford with us.