Police officers and a squad of cadets went shoulder to shoulder and on their hands and knees Tuesday in hopes of solving a murder mystery in Columbia's Long Reach neighborhood.
It's where Howard County police say 42-year-old Nichole Bernadette McNair, of Baltimore, was found suffering from a gunshot wound in the 8700 block of Hayshed Lane..
"I heard the shot and then I heard somebody scream oh my god," said James Lang, a neighbor. "And that was it."
McNair was next to her BMW SUV in a parking lot. The car was running its lights were still turned on.
Authorities received multiple calls reporting at least one gunshot fired around 10 p.m. Upon arrival, officers found McNair, who was taken to Howard County General Hospital in critical condition. She later died.
Police soon learned that McNair, who goes by Nikki, works as a bail bondswoman and bounty hunter. Now police wonder if there is a connection.
"I think we'd be remiss if we didn't examine the very real possibility that this incident could have involved her job in some way," said Sherry Llewellyn, Howard County Police Spokesperson. "We don't know for sure."
It's that sense of the unknown that's unnerved people here. They didn't know McNair or recognize her car. They're hoping the killer is caught soon.
"It's very quiet around here," said resident Cheryl Kirtley. "So it's highly unusual."