Joshua Wayne Crawford, a young man of just 21 years, met a tragic end on his birthday, July 2, 2003. His lifeless body was discovered in his apartment at 6949 Exeter Court, Frederick, Maryland, a case which remains unresolved to this day.
Born July 2, 1982, to Donald E. Crawford and Terry Lynn Scalera Horman, Joshua was the middle child, sandwiched between his older brother Brian and younger brother Marshall. Joshua's life was typical; he worked for Scalera’s Custom Painting and enjoyed painting, fishing, playing pool, and hanging out with his friends.
On that day, Terry, Joshua's mother, attempted to contact him to celebrate his birthday, but her calls went unanswered. Her worst fears were confirmed when the Sheriff’s Department arrived at her door with the news of her son's death. His friends, unable to get a response from him, had entered his apartment through a window and discovered his body. It remains unknown if these friends were ever considered suspects in the case.
The details of Joshua's death were chilling. An autopsy report revealed that he died from asphyxiation and blunt force injuries. Duct tape was found wrapped around his head, covering his nose and mouth, and his wrists and ankles were bound. There were indications of blunt force trauma to the head as well as multiple stab wounds. Intriguingly, there were no signs of forced entry, leading investigators to speculate that Joshua may have known his attacker(s). The apartment was found in a state of disarray, although it's uncertain if this occurred during the attack or if it was an attempt to create a diversion.
Many questions arose during the investigation. Was the duct tape found at the crime scene from Joshua’s apartment or did the assailant(s) bring it? Could there be fingerprints on the tape? Were the bindings that held his wrists and ankles from the apartment? And most importantly, could touch DNA be obtained from these bindings? The weapon used to inflict the blunt force trauma and the nature of the knife used for the stab wounds also remain a mystery. The sequence of the gruesome acts also remains to be determined.
Despite no updates from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, which is handling the investigation into Joshua’s death, his mother took matters into her own hands by hiring a private investigator. Terry Horman felt let down by the authorities, believing they hadn't done enough. She had submitted six potential suspects' names to the Sheriff’s Office, but according to her, they only interviewed one.
Samuel Hanna, a retired deputy with 38 years of experience in the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and a former Chief of the Elwood Police Department, Indiana, was hired for the private investigation. In an interview, Hanna expressed his surprise at the lack of progress in the case, expressing confidence that it is solvable.
The case was personally handled by Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins when he was a detective in the major crimes division. He maintains that every lead has been thoroughly investigated. However, Terry, not knowing which detective is currently managing her son's case, has expressed frustration with the lack of communication and progress in the investigation. She eventually sought the assistance of a staff attorney from the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, who helped recover some of Joshua’s personal items that had been taken as evidence.
When Joshua's body was found, he was still wearing his jewelry, valued at approximately $1,000. The absence of robbery as a motive has led to speculation that the murder may have been personal. Further adding to this theory is the fact that the only item reported stolen from his apartment was a Peavey 6 string Predator Electric Guitar, valued at under $300.
The unsolved mystery of Joshua's death raises many questions and leaves room for various theories. Despite the passage of years, his family, friends, and investigators continue their search for answers, clinging to the hope of finding justice for Joshua.