Detectives Seek Help from the Public to Locate a Man Missing from Silver Spring

Brice Oblee Byrd

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police 3rd District Investigative Section are asking for the public’s help to locate a missing Silver Spring man.

Brice Oblee Byrd, age 36, of the 500 block of Thayer Avenue, was last seen by a caretaker at approximately 12 p.m. on Sunday, August 12. He left his residence on foot, and it is not known what he was wearing at that time.

Byrd is described as an African American male, 5’10” tall, and weighing approximately 130 pounds.  He has black hair and brown eyes. Byrd is known to frequent areas of Washington, D.C.

Mr. Byrd is without his prescribed medication. Police and caretakers are concerned for his emotional and physical welfare.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Brice Byrd is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (available 24/7).  Callers may remain anonymous.

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Detectives Seek Assistance from Public to Locate Missing 14-Year-Old Girl

Diamond Janel Steward

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division are asking the public for help to locate a 14-year-old girl missing from Silver Spring.

Diamond Janel Steward is described as a black female, 5 feet tall, weighing 110 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen on August 13 at approximately 9:45 p.m. at her residence in the 14900 block of Peach Orchard Drive. At that time she was wearing blue jeans and a black shirt.

She is known to frequent the area of 53rd Street in northeast Washington D.C.

Anyone who has information about Diamond Janel Steward’s whereabouts is asked to call the police non-emergency number: 301-279-8000 (available 24/7).

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An Individual Associated with Addiction Recovery Treatment Housing Facilities Charged with Sexual Offenses

Steven Mitchell

Detectives with the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division have been investigating the reports of sexual offenses by an individual associated with the Stepping Stones Recovery Houses which provides transitional housing to individuals after treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

The continuing investigation revealed that on March 21, 2017, a female victim was visiting a resident of the Stepping Stones house located at 602 First Street in Rockville when a man associated with the facility asked to speak to the female victim in his room. When she walked in, he pushed her down on the bed and sexually assaulted her.

During the March incident investigation, detectives were contacted by a second victim at a different Stepping Stones house in reference to an incident occurring in July of 2018. On July 7, 2018 the female victim, who was a resident of the Stepping Stones house located at 208 Reading Terrace in Rockville reported being sexually assaulted by an individual associated with Stepping Stones Recovery Houses. The investigation revealed that the house manager called the suspect and asked for his help in evaluating an intoxicated resident. The suspect arrived and went into the victim’s room on two occasions that evening and sexually assaulted her each time.

Steven G. Mitchell, age 53, of the 600 block of First Street in Rockville, the individual associated with Stepping Stones Recovery Houses was arrested on July 13, for the March 21 incident after DNA comparisons were obtained. Mitchell was charged with second-degree rape, fourth-degree sexual offense, and second-degree assault.

Mitchell was also confirmed as the suspect responsible for the July 7 incident. Today, August 9, he was charged with two counts of third-degree sexual offense, two counts of fourth-degree sexual contact without consent, four counts of second-degree rape, for the July 7 incident. Bond information is not yet available.

Special Victims Investigations Division Detectives are concerned that there are other victims. Anyone who believes that they have been victimized by Mitchell is asked to call detectives at 240-773-5400.

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Update: Animal Services Officers Charge Woman with 128 Animal Cruelty Offenses from July Animal Hoarding Investigation

Laura Louise Prince

Officers with the Montgomery County Police Animal Services Division have charged Laura Louise Prince with 128 animal cruelty offenses resulting from their investigation into the welfare of animals housed at two of her residences: a townhouse in the 12000 block of Sweetbough Court in North Potomac and an apartment in the 9800 block of Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.

Prince, age 62, most recently of the 9800 block of Georgia Avenue, turned herself into authorities on Monday, August 6, and was charged with 128 animal cruelty offenses. That same day she posted a $2,500 bond and was released.

On June 23, Animal Services Officers (ASO’s) were called to the North Potomac address for the report of a cat in distress. The responding officer found the cat was not in distress but detected a strong odor of ammonia that prompted the officer to have concern about the sanitary conditions inside the residence. No one answered the door and a note was left to contact the officer. No reply was received.

The ASO was later able to contact the homeowner, Laura Louise Prince, by phone and was told by Prince that she had 8 cats in the residence and that she was out of town. An animal welfare inspection of the residence was arranged for Saturday, July 14. When the officer arrived for the inspection it was observed to be in overwhelmingly unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Prince agreed to surrender the animals to the Animal Services Division for care at the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center (MCASAC) located at 7315 Muncaster Mill Road in Derwood. Inspectors from the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs were contacted, and after their inspection of the property, the home was condemned as unfit for human habitation.

Over the course of the next 14 days, ASO’s removed 75 cats and one domestic rabbit from the North Potomac residence. An examination by veterinarians at the MCASAC found that every animal was infested with fleas to such an extent that it overwhelmed the animals normal grooming behavior and that scratching was causing hair loss.

On July 25, ASO’s verified that multiple animals were also being kept in unsanitary conditions at Prince’s Silver Spring residence on Georgia Avenue. That evening a search warrant was served and 50 cats and two domestic rabbits were removed from that residence and transported to the MCASAC for treatment. These animals were also infested with fleas and that scratching was causing hair loss.

After proper treatment and care at the MCASAC, the animals’ conditions have improved and they are now engaging in normal grooming behavior.

“Admittedly, this was a difficult case from the outset. The barriers and conditions including flea infestation and unsafe air quality in the townhouse on Sweetbough Court presented extraordinary challenges to our officers, whose performance was extraordinary in their efforts to safely remove the cats from this home,” said Animal Services Division Director Thomas Koenig.  “Now we are presented with the difficult challenge of adding 128 animals to our shelter operations, forcing us to make difficult choices based on limited resources.”

Officers with the Animal Services Division want the public to contact them at 301-279-8000 whenever there is concern about conditions and circumstances regarding animal housing or treatment. If an animal’s life is in immediate danger, it is appropriate to call the 9-1-1 emergency number.

Media contact: ASD Director Thomas Koenig                                                              240-773-5928 or Thomas.Koenig@montgomerycountymd.gov

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Silver Alert Issued for Senior Male missing from Burtonsville

William Benjamin Miller

Update: August 8 at 9:50 p.m. – William Benjamin Miller has been located safe and unharmed.  The Silver Alert for Mr. Miller has been canceled.

A Silver Alert has been issued by Maryland State Police for William Benjamin Miller, an 83-year-old black male who suffers from dementia. Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – 3rd District Investigative Section are requesting the public’s assistance to locate him.

Miller is described as a black male, 5’10” tall, and weighing 215 pounds. He is bald and has brown eyes. It is not known what he may be wearing.

Miller was last seen at his residence in the 2800 block of Cabin Creek Drive in Burtonsville today (August 8) at approximately 1 p.m. He is believed to be driving a blue Toyota Prius with Maryland tag 7BK0505.

Anyone with information about Mr. Miller’s whereabouts is asked to call the police non-emergency number, 301-279-8000 (available 24/7).

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