Back in April, Mrs. Georgia Bartrum died from what witnesses described as cardiac arrest shortly after a burglary at her home.
It wasn’t long after that The Baltimore Post started to receive phone calls regarding this incident.
Mrs. Bartrum was a beloved community leader, having served as the president of the Harborview Community Association for more than 15 years.
After receiving the news of her death, the Post went to the Baltimore County Police Public Safety website and found the first posting about the burglary. Mrs. Bartrum’s garage had been broken into and several dirt bikes stolen. The initial posting gave descriptions of the suspects.
We became suspicious after those descriptions were later deleted.
Thus began the hunt for the truth about this particularly egregious crime.
There were at least a dozen emails back and forth between the Post and the Baltimore County Police. We kept inquiring if the crime was being classified as a homicide rather than a burglary. Initially, the response was that the police were waiting on the medical examiner’s autopsy results.
While waiting for a response from the BCPD, we continued our investigation by interviewing Mrs. Bartrum’s neighbors, who gave us additional information from others familiar with the case.
The Post learned that Mrs. Bartrum, after hearing suspicious noises, confronted the two suspects during the burglary. Witnesses further stated that one of the suspects threatened to shoot Mrs. Bartrum, at which time she fled back into her home. Also according to witnesses, someone inside the home called 911 to report the crime.
Shortly thereafter Mrs. Bartrum went into cardiac arrest and was transported to the hospital.
The Post also was able to learn that the police were on the scene at the time of Mrs. Bartrum’s apparent cardiac arrest and attempted CPR before paramedics arrived at the scene. Sadly, Mrs. Bartrum never recovered and passed away on April 17, 2019.
She was 54 years old.
Under Maryland State law, if a person dies as a result of the commission of a crime, the case is upgraded to a homicide. And in this particular incident, even though the suspects only threatened to shoot the victim, the burglary should have been upgraded to a homicide.
In each of our 12 attempts to get more information, The Post received almost verbatim the same reply:
Let me check with homicide.
That was the standard reply received on September 11, 2019, after we again requested an update on the case.
We also received some new information from neighbors that there were two additional burglaries at the Batrum residence.
The response was always the same. Someone had to check with someone else and get back to us.
That still has yet to happen.
Watch the following video, captured by a Dundalk Eagle reporter, which explains the lack of transparency from the Baltimore County Administration.
For now, this matter remains unsettled. But rest assured we won’t stop pressing until we get an answer.
Mrs. Bartrum, may she rest in peace, deserves at least that much.