PRINCE GEORGIA’S COUNTY, Md.- A Maryland resident has been charged with murder in relation to the case of a missing local teacher who was reportedly kidnapped during a routine walk, according to a recent police statement. Mariame Sylla, 59, an educator at Dora Kennedy French Immersion School in Prince George’s County, was reported missing by a close family friend towards the end of July.
Sylla was last seen on July 29, taking an evening walk in Greenbelt, and she never returned home, Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz informed the media during a press conference on Friday. A few days later, on August 1, a local resident reported a suspicious finding to the Prince George’s County Police Department. The report led to the discovery of dismembered human remains in Clinton.
The remains were later confirmed to be Sylla’s through DNA testing. The investigation led to the identification of Harold Francis Landon III, a 33-year-old resident of University Park, as a suspect in Sylla’s murder. According to the police chief, Landon was allegedly present in the park at the time of Sylla’s disappearance and was later linked to the crime through his vehicle.
On Friday, homicide detectives charged Landon with first-degree murder in connection with Sylla’s death. His first court appearance was scheduled for the same day, with a bond review potentially set for Tuesday. It remains unclear whether Landon has legal representation. He has been in the custody of the Department of Corrections since August 1 on an unrelated assault charge.
According to Chief Aziz, there is no apparent connection between the suspect and the victim. The motive behind the crime is still under investigation.
An autopsy is currently underway to determine Sylla’s cause of death. Investigators are also trying to establish the location and time of her murder. Her remains were found approximately 18 miles south of her last known location.