On Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at approximately 1:30 pm, Officers from Southern
District responded to the area of Holly and Chesapeake Drive, Shady Side, Maryland for
recovered remains. Responding officers located skeletal human remains along the
shoreline. The scene was secured and Homicide Detectives were summoned. An
extensive search of the shoreline by numerous patrol, detectives and members of the
Department of Natural Resources was conducted in which additional human skeletal
remains were recovered.
After the scene was searched by the Evidence Collection Unit and Homicide Detectives
the remains were transported to the OCME for a post mortem examination. Preliminary
assessment by the OCME has revealed the decedent is a Caucasian, Hispanic or Asian
female, approximately mid-twenties to thirty years of age with an approximate height of
5’03. It is believed the remains are that of someone who went missing within the past
several months. The Anne Arundel County Police Department is working with
neighboring jurisdictions in an attempt to positively identify the remains.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has been thoroughly examining the recovered
human remains. Their examination concluded the human remains displayed apparent
trauma with the manner being homicide.
The Anne Arundel County Police is utilizing DNA Phenotyping in order to assist in
identifying the unknown human remains. DNA Phenotyping is the prediction of physical
appearance from DNA. It can be used to generate leads in cases where there are no
suspects or database hits, to narrow suspect lists, and to help solve human remains
cases. DNA carries the genetic instruction set for an individual's physical characteristics,
producing the wide range of appearances among people. By determining how genetic
information translates into physical appearance, it is possible to "reverse-engineer" DNA
into a physical profile. Snapshot reads tens of thousands of genetic variants
("genotypes") from a DNA sample and uses this information to predict what an unknown
person looks like.
Anne Arundel County Homicide detectives have been diligently working on positively identifying the recovered human remains. Information was developed that there was a missing adult female from the Annapolis area. Anne Arundel County Police learned that the Annapolis Police Department had taken a missing person’s report on November 1, 2017 at approximately 1:00 p.m. A family member reported Megan Leah Tilman missing who had last been heard from on September 26, 2017. Ms. Tilman was described as a forty three year old white female approximately five foot four weighing one hundred and seventy pounds. Ms. Tilman had resided in the tenth block of Rockwell Court , Annapolis, Maryland.
Homicide detectives obtained DNA samples from Ms. Tilman’s family members in order to conduct testing. The Anne Arundel County Crime Laboratory Forensic Services Section conducted an analysis and were able to positively identify the recovered human remains as that of Megan Leah Tilman. DNA Phenotyping was not completed due to the new information and family comparison.
This is a very active homicide investigation where the Anne Arundel County Police are urging anyone with information to come forward by calling the Anne Arundel County Homicide Unit at 410-222-4731. If people with information wish to remain anonymous they can also contact the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line 410-222-4700 or Metro Crime Stoppers.