Police: No relationship between teens in Ellicott City murder-suicide

WASHINGTON — Howard County police said they have found no evidence of a relationship between an Ellicott City teen and the 16-year-old classmate he fatally shot after breaking into her house on New Year’s Day.

Police said 15-year-old Sean Crizer was wearing a mask when he shot 16-year-old Charlotte Zaremba in her bedroom around 2 a.m., shortly after she returned from a New Year’s party, police said. Zaremba’s mother, who went to check on her daughter after hearing a scuffle in her bedroom, was shot in the leg before Crizer turned the gun on himself.

He died in the hospital two days later.

Police believe the two teens were acquaintances because they both attended Howard High School and lived in the same neighborhood.

But in a statement released Friday, Howard County police said a review of the teens’ cellphone records and computers and found no communication between the two teens and said they still do not know Crizer’s motive for entering the Zaremba house “and may never be able to determine his intent.”

Detectives believe Crizer was responsible for a series of burglaries in the neighborhood in the weeks leading up to the shooting. The gun used to shoot the Zarembas had been reported stolen from another Ellicott City resident a few days before.

Police said Friday they also recovered other property believed to have been stolen by Crizer, including numerous pairs of women’s underwear, family photos, keys and jewelry.

Two other teens were involved in those neighborhood burglaries. One of those teens has already been charged and the other may face charges, Howard County polices said Friday. It’s unclear how many homes the teens burglarized, but police said it may be as many as seven. Police said the teens stole coins, watches, keys and jewelry.

The two other teens were not with Crizer on the morning of the Jan. 1 shooting, police said.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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