Ex-boyfriend: Slain Md. woman feared for safety

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A Maryland woman found dead inside her home this week had recently expressed concerns about her safety after her estranged husband, an ex-con, had re-entered her life and as their relationship had continued deteriorating, the woman’s former boyfriend said Friday.

Ronald McCombs said that Jane McQuain had recently been arguing with her estranged husband — generally about money — and that several times he refused to leave her condominium despite her pleas for him to get out.

Mr. McCombs said Ms. McQuain told him about two and a half weeks ago that she was concerned about her welfare and about whether the man, Curtis Maurice Lopez, might harm her.

“I said, ‘Janie, don’t talk like that,’” Mr. McCombs recalled saying.

Ms. McQuain was found dead Wednesday night in the bedroom of her home in Germantown, about 30 miles northwest of Washington, after she was reported missing. The medical examiner’s office on Friday ruled that Ms. McQuain died of blunt force trauma and stab wounds.

Her husband, the 45-year-old Lopez, was arrested Thursday morning as he tried to leave an EconoLodge in Charlotte, N.C.

Police found Ms. McQuain’s car in North Carolina, but were still searching for her 11-year-old son, William — Lopez’s stepson — who was last seen at home about two weeks ago. Police would not reveal details about their search, including particular areas being scoured, except to say it was “active and intense.”

“It’s not like an active trail where the child was missing (only) yesterday,” said Officer Rebecca Innocenti, a Montgomery County police spokeswoman.

It was not immediately clear if Lopez had an attorney or when he would return to Maryland to face charges.

Police said he has an extradition hearing scheduled in North Carolina on Monday afternoon. No motive was readily apparent, either.

Mr. McCombs said he dated Ms. McQuain from 1995 to 2007 and helped raise William as a young boy, even as Lopez was serving time in prison and rarely was in touch with Ms. McQuain or her son. He said he was close to Ms. McQuain until her death.

“School was number one for her son — and sports,” Mr. McCombs said. “Everything her son basically wanted, she provided. Maybe she spoiled him too much, but she loved him that much.”

Photos on Ms. McQuain’s Facebook page depict a proud and doting mother. Dozens of pictures show William — often beaming — at a petting zoo on a Mother’s Day outing and playing recreation league baseball or football and posing in his uniform. By Friday, many of Ms. McQuain’s Facebook friends had changed their profile pictures to an image of William.

Christina Bassett, a children’s youth ministry leader at the church Ms. McQuain and William attended, said William loves sports and animals. When his pet hamster died, he described how he felt better after praying with his mother, Ms. Bassett said. She said William’s friends have been distressed and struggling to comprehend the severity of the situation. She took a walk with one boy near William’s condo on Thursday to comfort him.

“They were convinced that he was hiding in one of their favorite little hiding spots and wanted to go out and look,” Ms. Bassett said. “I explained, it’s been two weeks, he’s not there, and he’s not a boy who would step away from his mom.”

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