Pennsylvania man arrested on murder charges in disappearance of DC-area photographer

Joseph Anthony Shymanski, a well-known D.C.-area photographer, has been missing since Labor Day. (Courtesy Calvert County Sheriff's Office)
A Pennsylvania man has been arrested on a murder charge in the disappearance of a well-known D.C.-area photographer who was reported missing over Labor Day.

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at a home in Huntingtown, Maryland, on Monday after a family member reported Joseph Anthony Shymanski, 51, missing. Deputies determined foul play and developed a suspect.

Detectives traveled to Pennsylvania and arrested Brandon R. Holbrook, 47, of Reedsville, charging him with first- and second-degree murder, as well as first-degree assault. Holbrook is awaiting extradition to Maryland.

Shymanski, a photographer known for putting Star Wars figures in his photographs, has not yet been found. He is a fixture at D.C.’s Eastern Market, as well as the Holiday Market in Gallery Place. He joined the Sunnyside Restaurant Group — owned by the Mendelsohn family behind Good Stuff Eatery and We the Pizza.

In 2007, he took the first shots of chef Spike Mendelsohn before he shot to fame after appearing on the show “Top Chef.” Shymanski opened a small photography studio on Capitol Hill in 2000, the Sunnyside Restaurant Group website said.

The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on what happened should contact Det. W. Wells at and refer to case 23-62906.

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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