Maryland police arrest suspect in decapitation and dismemberment of beloved grade school teacher

News & Politics

Maryland community members were distraught after police said the remains of a beloved missing grade school teacher were found on the side of a road.

59-year-old Mariame Toure Sylla went missing after she went for a walk on July 29 from her home in Greenbelt.

Prince George’s County Police Chief Malek Aziz said that decapitated and dismembered remains were found at a location about 18 miles away from where she went missing two days later.

DNA analysis later proved they were Sylla’s remains.

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Aziz said that a witness told them they had seen a man in a white truck near the area where the remains were found and took a photograph. That tip led them to arrest 33-year-old Harold Francis Landon III.

Security video captured footage of a white pickup truck in the same area at about the same time.

On Aug. 1 police arrested Landon for an unrelated domestic violence case. He had been seen driving a white 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup with Florida license plates in that case. They also obtained cell phone evidence that allegedly placed Landon at the park where Sylla want missing and at the location where her remains were found.

Police said they found a reciprocating saw at the suspect’s home that could have been used to dismember the woman’s body.

Despite the evidence that allegedly links Landon to the murder, police say they have not been able to determine a motive for the horrendous act.

“We don’t have any motive,” said Aziz. “I will say this though, motives in these cases even if it exist, there is no way would it bring any resolve to a family for whatever reason, it’s senseless. It doesn’t make any, the type of violence is depraved. It wouldn’t make any difference to me, it’s disturbing.”

Landon was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder, two counts of assault and disposing a body in an unauthorized location.

Students at Dora Kennedy French Immersion School where Sylla taught were devastated when she went missing.

“I am sad that Madame Sylla is missing. I hope we find her soon,” read an email from a fourth-grade boy who had been one of Sylla’s students.

Here’s a local news report about the incident:

Dismembered body identified as missing Maryland teacher, man charged with

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