Murder of Wise Avenue man 30 years ago still unsolved
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 13:43

After decades, Gover family wants answers

by Ben Boehl

    The only thing worse than having a parent murdered is not knowing who committed that murder and having the case remain a mystery.
    Mechelle Gover was only five years old when her father Donald was found dead.
    “I think about him all the time. I don’t remember him and I didn’t know him,” Mechelle said.
    According to Mechelle, her father left his Wise Avenue home on Dec. 7 1983 to visit an eldery friend in Edgemere. He was found beaten to death on Dec. 10.
    “I feel that the person who did it still lives in Dundalk and could drive by my house everyday,”  Mechelle said. “Someone has to know something.”

    According to his death certificate, the reported cause of death to Donald Gover, 29, was multiple blunt force cranio-cerebral injuries. His body was found in a wooded lot in the 800 block of Willow Avenue near Bauers Farm Road. An autospy was performed and it was determined by the medical examiner that Donald Gover was beaten to death.
    It was undetermined if the murder happened at the Edgemere site or if the body was dropped off from another location. It is also unknown if Donald was a random victim of a robbery that went wrong or if his murder was planned.
    Donald’s mother Virginia is still alive at the age of 94. She said that her son’s boots and jacket were stolen, but Mechelle believes it was planned.
    “I think the person who did it, knew what they were doing,” Mechelle added.
    According to old newspaper clippings shared by the family, Donald’s body was found under a Chevy fender by two boys that were playing in that wooded area. Police quickly ruled the death a homicide.
    Joyce Gover was the wife of Donald and the mother of Mechelle. She died a few years ago, but Mechelle explained her mom was as upset and mystified as the rest of the family.
    So why push for new information now? Mechelle said that she has had so many people come up to her recently to talk about her father that she wants to see if she can get any fresh answers.
    Also, after having a child of her own, Mechelle started to wonder what happened to her father.
    She went to the police, but they told her they cannot reopen the investigation unless someone comes forward with new information.
    “What I gathered from the police at the time [of the investigation] was that everyone was really closed-lipped about it. People knew something, but didn’t say anything,” Mechelle  recalled.
    The Gover case is not listed on the “Unsolved Homicide Cases” on the Baltimore County police website, but police spokeswoman Cpl. Cathy Batton explained that Baltimore County has over 200 unsolved homicide cases dating back decades and does not feature all of the cases on the web page at the same time. She did confirm that Gover is one of those unsolved cases.
    “On [Dec. 10, 1983], the body of Donald Lee Gover, 29, was found in a wooded area located near the intersection of Willow Ave and Bauers Farm Road. An autopsy was performed at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and it was found Mr. Gover died as a result of blunt force trauma,” Batton said in a written statement.
    “There is no suspect information in this case. This case has been reviewed many times in the past and the police are asking for the public’s help to identify the person or person’s responsible for killing Donald Gover. Information that leads to the arrest and indictment of a suspect for the murder may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.”
    In going public now, Mechelle hopes that someone who has information will step forward.
    “Not a day — not one day — goes by that I don’t think about him. The more time that goes by and the older I get, the more I realize what was taken from me,” she said.
    “They got to watch their kids grow up. They get to see their grandchildren, but my dad won’t never meet his grandchild.”