Suspect Arrested for Homicide of Infant

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department Major Crimes Division are investigating the homicide of a six-month-old girl, Miller “Millie” Lilliston of Rockville.  Investigators have charged Kia Divband, 35 years old, of Rockville, with second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree child abuse.

In the late morning of April 19, homicide detectives responded to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital (SGAH) for the report of an unresponsive infant who had been transported to the hospital.  Investigators determined that prior to arriving at the hospital, the child, Millie Lilliston, was in the care of Kia Divband at his licensed daycare.  Divband’s daycare, Little Dreamers, is located at Divband’s residence at 1603 Grandin Avenue in Rockville.

Detectives responded to Divband’s residence and interviewed him.  Divband stated that Millie’s parent had dropped her off at approximately 8:00 a.m. that morning (April 19) and that she took a nap. Divband stated that Millie woke up at 10:30 a.m. and while she was in her stroller, he began to feed her a bottle that contained six ounces of breast milk.  Divband stated that Millie drank approximately three ounces of milk and then started choking and vomiting.  When she stopped vomiting, Divband said he took her to the bathroom to clean her face.  At that time, Divband stated that he noticed that MIllie was unresponsive and that her lips had turned blue.

Divband stated that he performed three to four rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and yelled for his wife, who was upstairs in the home, to call 9-1-1.  Fire and Rescue personnel responded and transported Millie to SGAH.  Doctors noted subdural hematomas in her head, rib fractures, and multiple bruises on her face and body.  Millie was then flown by air to the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) in the District of Columbia.

An examination by doctors at the Children’s National Medical Center revealed additional injuries to include retinal hemorrhages, a fractured femur, and a fractured humerus.  All of the injuries were in various stages of healing and were classified as non-accidental, inflicted trauma.  Millie succumbed to her injuries three days later on April 22.

Millie’s parents were interviewed at CNMC and reported that she had not been ill, and was in good health and condition when she was dropped off earlier that day.  Millie’s parents had a photograph taken on April 18 that showed Millie with no facial bruising.  They also stated that Millie had no serious injuries prior to being placed in Divband’s care.

On April 21, homicide detectives served a search warrant at the Little Dreamers daycare and Divband’s residence.  Blood evidence was recovered in multiple locations in the daycare facility, including the stroller that Millie was seated in on April 19.  A trash can with bloodied baby wipes was located outside with the trash bins.  Investigators also noticed that Divband had removed Millie’s name label from her belongings bin.

Medical reports from CNMC described Millie suffering from multiple inflicted injuries.  None of these were consistent with the choking event described by Divband but were consistent with repeated incidents of physical abuse.

On April 24, an autopsy was performed by the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  That office ruled Millie’s death  a homicide caused by multiple blunt-force injuries.

Divband will have a bond review today at 1:00 p.m. in Rockville District Court.  He is currently being held on $2,000,000 bond.

Kia Divband

Kia Divband

Police Investigate Centerway Park Homicide

MCPSealBestDetectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division are investigating a homicide that occurred in Centerway Park in Montgomery Village last night.  The victim is identified as Oscar Vidal Benitez, age 18, of Gaithersburg.

On April 24 at approximately 10:05 p.m., the Emergency Communications Center was notified by medical personnel at Holy Cross Germantown that an assault victim had been brought to the hospital and had been declared deceased. At the hospital, investigators came into contact with two additional people who were injured during this incident.

Detectives have determined that the assault took place in the parking area of Centerway Park located at 9551 Centerway Road in Montgomery Village.  Investigators have interviewed persons who may have some connection and/or knowledge of this homicide.

Detectives are urging anyone who may have information regarding this murder to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240.773.5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s). Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

 

RLI

 

Detectives Investigate Theft in Germantown; Surveillance Video Released

Suspect in theft from 7-Eleven

Suspect in theft from 7-Eleven

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – 5th District Patrol Investigations Unit are asking the public for help to identify a suspect who committed a theft from a 7-Eleven convenience store in Germantown.

On April 15, 5th District officers responded to the 7-Eleven store located at 13001 Wisteria Drive for the report of a theft that occurred.

The investigation revealed that at approximately 12:15 a.m., the male suspect entered the store and concealed items in his vest.  The suspect walked out of the store without paying for the items and as he left, stated to the store employee, “take me to court”.

Today, detectives are releasing surveillance video of the theft suspect and are asking that anyone who recognizes him to please call the 5th District Patrol Investigations Unit at 240-773-6245.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 240-773-TIPS (8477) or Text-A-Tip to: CRIMES (274637), text MCPD and your crime tip.  Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this crime.

Video of suspect in theft from Germantown 7-Eleven

Video of suspect in theft from Germantown 7-Eleven

 

Police Seek Public’s Help to Identify Suspect in Two Commercial Burglaries; Photograph Released

Suspect in two commercial burglaries in Silver Spring

Suspect in two commercial burglaries in Silver Spring

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – 3rd District Investigative Section continue to investigate two commercial burglaries that were committed in Silver Spring by the same unknown suspect.   Today, detectives are releasing a surveillance photograph of the suspect and are asking for the public’s help to identify him.

On February 11 at approximately 3:00 a.m., the suspect broke the front door glass of the “La Fonda Paisa” restaurant located at 7914 Georgia Avenue and forced entry into the business.  The suspect removed cash from the register and fled from the business.

On April 8 at approximately 3:55 a.m., the suspect broke the front door glass of “The Noon” store located at 7902 Georgia Avenue and removed cash from the register.

Anyone who has information about the suspect or this burglary is asked to call the Montgomery County Police – 3rd District Investigative Section at 240-773-6870. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 240-773-TIPS (8477) or Text-A-Tip to: CRIMES (274637), text MCPD and your crime tip. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this crime.

RLG

Warmer Weather Brings Home Repair and Tree and Lawn Service Scammers to County

As warmer weather has come to the area, so have the home repair and tree and lawn service scammers.  These scammers target people with the intent of taking advantage of them financially.  Although these types of scams occur year-round, areas often experience an increase in these criminal acts after storms and in the spring and summer.  Since March 1, there have been 12 of these scams reported to the Police Department; the incidents have occurred throughout the County.  The cases are actively being investigated by detectives with the assistance and guidance of the Office of Consumer Protection and the State’s Attorney’s Office.  Investigators believe that there are a number of different suspects involved in these 12 cases.

A common scamming scenario: A scammer knocks on a homeowner’s door, states that he/she works for a tree service or home repair company, and says that he is doing work for a neighbor (which is a lie).  He says that he has noticed a hazardous situation at the person’s home.  He offers to fix the problem and offers a “good deal” (usually it’s work at an inflated or even sometimes exorbitant price).  The scammer conveniently has some extra materials that he can use to perform the work.  When the homeowner enters an agreement with the scammer, the scammer, who is not licensed nor properly trained to perform the work, might: (1) collect a deposit and then never return to the home, (2) take the resident’s money and perform inferior work that often creates greater problems that are costly to repair, or (3) personally cause damage to the home so that he/she can then “fix” the issue.  Sometimes, after fixing one problem, the scammer will “find” additional issues that need to be addressed; the scammers will convince homeowners to continue to hand over more money to fix the never-ending issues.

Who are these scammers?

  • While some scammers are transient and routinely travel certain routes, many scammers have an established residency but will travel great distances with the sole purpose of defrauding people.  “Woodchucks” is a name given to tree service scammers who live outside of the immediate D.C. region but who travel to this area to commit this type of fraud.
  • These criminals don’t go to every door in a neighborhood.  They target homes that appear to be in decline or where a vulnerable person may live (such as an older person with memory issues or physical limitations).  In 11 of the 12 Montgomery County cases since March, the victim was 70 years or older.
  • These criminals will attempt to quickly gain the victim’s trust.  They will create a sense of urgency and pressure a person to hire them immediately.  If a homeowner questions the quality of their completed work or refuses to pay them more money for additional services, these criminals might use intimidation or fear (“Ill sue you!”) to obtain money.

How Can I Protect Myself and Others from these Scammers?

  • Be cautious of door-to-door solicitors who state that they have extra materials or left over supplies from another job and can do the work, and they must start the work immediately.
  • Be wary of a person/company who has no printed materials – no written contracts, no business cards, no bid forms, etc.
  • When hiring someone to perform work around your home, do your homework:
    • Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors.
    • Take time to get 3 to 4 estimates.
    • Check with your local Better Business Bureau and their lists of accredited businesses and reviews.
    • Research if the company/person performing the work is required to have a license: In Maryland, home improvement companies and tree care companies must be licensed in Maryland to perform work in the state.
    • Verify a business’ license status by calling the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP)at 240-777-3636.  OCP has a record of merchant complaints online.
    • Insist on a written contract with details on what work will be done, materials to be used, etc.  If changes are made as work progresses, ask the contractor to amend the contract to reflect those changes.
    • Be mindful of your neighbors and family members, especially those who are older and may be more vulnerable to these scams.  Call police if you suspect that someone you know is about to enter into a scam.

Two Recent Scams with Arrest of Suspect in Montgomery County:

  • Suspect: Chrisopher Wade Clore, age 31, of Madison Virginia
  • Charged via Montgomery County warrant.
  • Arrested in Virginia yesterday.
  • On November 10, 2015, Clore knocked on the door of a 79-year-old Bethesda resident.  He told her that he was working on a house in the area and noticed that a large limb had fallen on her roof and punctured a hole.  Clore told the victim that the roof need to be immediately fixed to prevent water from entering the attic.  The victim paid Clore $2,132.50 to make repairs.  When one of the victim’s family members learned of the repair job, he was doubtful that a limb had fallen on the roof and damaged it; there were no tree limbs close to the house with and the roof was only a year old.  The family member inspected the roof and noted a shoddy repair job.  He also noted that the hole in the roof was most likely caused by a hammer or hatchet.  The family member repaired the roof in approximately one hour and the total cost of the materials to repair the roof was less than $30.
  • Clore faces charges to include theft, malicious destruction of property, obtaining property of a vulnerable adult, acting as a contractor without a license, and failure to perform a contract.
  • On February 27, 2016, Clore knocked on the door of a 43-year-old Kensington woman and stated that he had performed home improvement work at the home in the past.  The victim stated that she needed some work done and Clore said she could complete the work for $550.  The victim gave Clore $300 as a down payment and said he would return the next day to make the repairs.  Clore then went to the neighbor’s home and pressured his way into the home.  He told the resident, who was elderly and in poor health, that she owed him money.  She was able to convince him to leave. Clore never returned to the initial victim’s home to perform the agreed upon work.
  • Clore faces charges to include theft, acting as a contractor without a license, and failure to perform contract.

The Department urges residents to immediately call police if they believe that someone is committing this type of fraud.

*Note to media: The family member who notified police of the November 10, 2015 scam case is willing to speak to the media.  Please call the Public Information Office at 240-773-5030 (option 4) for more information.