Eight years later—a case not closed

Prince Frederick, MD - There aren’t too many things more horrific than the cold-blooded murder of a human being, especially one who is loved by many. There aren’t too many things more frustrating and anguishing than the lack of finality in determining who was responsible for such an unspeakable act. Here we are today, eight years later and the mystery surrounding the murder of Sandra Renee Long of Lusby lingers. What’s worse is, despite the airing of regional and national news segments—all containing interviews with family and close friends, as well as law enforcement experts; some forensic evidence and a sizable reward—very little conversation seems to be occurring in Calvert County, the kind of conversation that might prompt an arrest by authorities.

If you have forgotten the story, here’s a recap. On the chilly morning of November 30, 2010, a small group of hunters saw a 2009 Ford Focus parked in a lot off Camp Canoy Road adjacent to Calvert Cliffs State Park in Lusby. The vehicle appeared abandoned, but there was someone inside. The woman in the vehicle was unresponsive. The hunters called 911 and soon a police investigation was underway. It was subsequently determined that Long died of blunt force trauma. Local investigators—at the time united in a triumvirate (sheriff’s office, Maryland State Police and State’s Attorney’s Office) known as the Calvert Investigative Team—were ready to move quickly on attempting to close the case. However, state officials, noting that Long’s body was discovered on state property, put the kibosh on the local investigation effort. The state would handle the matter instead. While Sgt. David Sexton of MSP’s central headquarters has done a diligent job in investigating this very provincial crime, it’s fair to wonder if the transfer of responsibility might have figuratively thrown the hounds off the scent.

Last year Sexton told the national TV show Crimewatch Daily that he does not believe a stranger, such as a hitchhiker, killed Long, but that it was likely someone who knew her. On that same broadcast, one of the victim’s cousins described Long as “so caring and so loving.” Long’s sister looked at the camera and added, “if you know something, say it. Tell somebody. Get it off your chest.”

In fact, there are other unsolved murders in Calvert and in other Southern Maryland jurisdictions. The families of the victims are continually haunted by the unknown. Those who know the truth are imprisoned by their own reticence. It’s time for this mystery and others to be solved.

If you have information about the murder of Sandra Renee Long, contact Crime Solvers of Calvert County at 410-535-2880. A $5,300 reward has been offered for information that would lead to an arrest or conviction.

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the management of

Contact Marty Madden at

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