Crofton Man Arrested for December Homicide

Maryland State Police investigating a Frederick murder from December think they may have found their man, 51-year-old Michael Stahlnecker of Crofton.

Maryland State PoliceOn December 3, 2012, the body of a man, identified as John Ryan, 37, of Frederick, was found in the trunk of his 2007 Lexus in a parking lot in Derwood (Montgomery County). Police were looking for Ryan after his wife reported him missing on Nov. 29.

Maryland State Police said that worked closely on the case with the Frederick County Narcotics Task Force. In the summer of 2012, the task force had opened an investigation into Ryan, who they believed was trafficking marijuana.

During the investigation, police said that Stahlnecker was found to be a close associate of Ryan. Homicide investigators believed Ryan and Stahlnecker had a meeting on Nov. 28 at a warehouse in Laurel.

A search warrant was obtained for the warehouse–which was being leased by Stahlnecker. There, police found Ryan’s blood near the loading dock and on bristles from a broom outside the rear of the building. Police believe that Ryan was shot at the warehouse. His body was put in the trunk of his car and driven to the parking lot in Derwood, where the body was discovered a few days later.

No motive has been established, but investigators learned that Stahlnecker owed large amounts of money to several people.

Stahlnecker was arrested before 6 a.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 12) while attempting to board a flight at JFK Inernational Airport on Long Island in New York. He was taken into custody by New York and New Jersey Port Authority Police with assistance from ICE Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshall Service. He remains in custody in New York on a fugitive warrant to Maryland.

Stahlnecker is charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, first degree assault, second degree assault, reckless endangerment and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony/violent crime.

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