A homeless man faces murder and arson charges in the death of a Salisbury woman whose body was found inside a burning house on May 21.
Kenneth Glenn Evans, 43, is being held without bond in connection with the fire at 28503 Glastonbury Drive, owned by Helen E. Riggins and located off West Road in Salisbury.
Court records list his address as 8671 Mar-Lynn Drive in Delmar, but Evans was living in a tent on Connelly Mill Road at the time of the incident, according to charging documents filed in District Court.
When firefighters responded to the blaze just before 7 a.m., they found a woman’s body in the master bedroom and a purse on the kitchen table with the contents dumped out. State Fire Marshals who arrived on the scene found a wire cable wrapped around the woman’s neck multiple times and called in the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, according to court records.
The homeowner’s son later told investigators that his mother put $1,000 in an envelope for him, but he found an empty envelope with his name on it when he walked through the house after the fire, court records show.
Investigators were able to identify Evans through surveillance video at a neighbor’s house and by witnesses, including a next-door neighbor who said a man opened the door to her home and started to come in, but was scared off by a barking dog, according to charging documents.
Another witness, apparently unaware Evans was wanted in connection with the fire, recognized Evans from previous encounters and gave him a ride that morning to his job at Kings Farm on Foskey Lane, according to court records. The witness told investigators that Evans pulled “a large ball of money” from his pocket and paid the man $5 for the ride.
Police eventually located Evans and conducted a search on his tent on May 26. They found the shirt he was wearing in the surveillance video on the day of the fire, as well as green tip matches similar to ones found inside the home, according to records. They also found a white substance that later tested positive as cocaine.
Investigators determined the fire was incendiary and intentionally set. It was started near Riggins’ feet.
Evans has been charged with first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, first- and second-degree arson, theft, burglary, possession of marijuana and drug possession.