Lexington Park Man Charged with Murder of His Wife

Man Told Police Wife was Killed by Carjacker

Ryan D. Holness, of Lexington Park, has been charged with the murder of his wife.  He first told investigators that she was killed by a carjacker.  He is a member of the U.S. Navy, assigned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River. (MSP Arrest photo)
CRUMPTON, Md. (June 6, 2009) – The husband who told Maryland State Police homicide investigators he and his wife were carjacked in New Jersey and the carjacker killed his wife along a rural Kent County road early Friday morning has been charged with his wife’s murder.

After consultation Friday night with the Kent County state’s attorney, Maryland State Police homicide investigators charged Ryan D. Holness, 28, of the 48000-block of Spinnaker Court, Lexington Park, Md., with first degree murder and second degree murder. He was processed at the Centreville Barracks and later taken before a court commissioner in Kent County for a bond hearing.

Ryan Holness is charged with the murder of his wife, Serika Dunkley Holness, 26, of the same address. The body of Serika Holness was found by police lying in a field along Rt. 290, four miles north of Rt. 301, in Crumpton, at about 6:00 a.m. Friday.

State Police investigators say Ryan Holness is currently a member of the United States Navy, assigned to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. He and his wife have a home in Lexington Park, and travel to New York to visit relatives, as they were doing before they left for Maryland Thursday evening. The couple has been married since 2003. The couple has children, but they were not involved in this incident and are safe with other relatives.

Maryland State Police and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call shortly before 6:00 a.m. Friday in the 10000-block of Crumpton Road (Rt. 290). Ryan Holness had gone to a house there and asked the resident to contact 911. He told police he and his wife were traveling back from visiting relatives in Brooklyn, New York last night when they were carjacked at a rest area between exits 8A and 8 on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Ryan Holness told investigators he was made to drive to the Crumpton area and was assaulted by the suspect who was armed with a gun and a knife. He said the suspect bound his hands and feet with duct tape before attacking his wife who had attempted to flee.

While Maryland State Police launched a nationwide search for the suspect described by Ryan Holness and the vehicle Friday, they also interviewed numerous individuals and examined physical evidence at the scene. Information provided by Holness throughout the day today did not match information developed through witnesses and evidence at the scene. Further detail about those inconsistencies cannot be provided at this time.

The couple's 2007 blue Honda Accord was found by police in Washington, D.C. Maryland State Police homicide investigators were contacted by officers from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. at about 11:15 p.m. Friday and informed that a car fitting the description of the car leased by Ryan D. Holness had been located in Northwest Washington.

A Metropolitan Police Department officer spotted the car parked in the 600-block of I Street NW.

State Police homicide investigators responded to the scene and confirmed it as the vehicle they had been searching for.

State Police homicide investigators took custody of the car and had it towed to the Forestville Barracks. Troopers are currently preparing an application for a search warrant for the car. The car will be searched and processed for evidence Saturday after a search warrant is granted, say police.

A MSP press release stated that information about anything observed in the car or evidence recovered after the search warrant will not be released at this time.

State Police have no specific information about how the car arrived in Washington, D.C. The nationwide lookout for the vehicle has been canceled.

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