- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 2, 2000

The FBI and local police have begun an international manhunt for Kofi A. Orleans-Lindsay, who is wanted in the shooting death of a Maryland State Police trooper during an undercover drug buy in Northeast D.C. on Monday.

"If he sticks his head out of a hole, we'll know it," said Assistant D.C. Police Chief William P. McManus, who recommended that the suspect turn himself in: "See us now or see us later. Make it easy on yourself."

Officers and agents are watching airports and train stations throughout the East Coast to prevent Mr. Orleans-Lindsay, 23, a native of Ghana, from slipping out of the country. Law enforcement officers also are following leads and sweeping the area from the District to New York.

"Once a person becomes a fugitive, we run him through the computer, and all these entities, Customs [Service] and appropriate federal agencies, would be on the lookout to prevent anyone from leaving the country," said Special Agent Peter Gulotta, spokesman for the FBI field office in Baltimore.

"The FBI is doing everything they can … whether it is in this area, the U.S. or abroad," said Heather Hobson, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Washington field office.

Mr. Orleans-Lindsay is wanted in the Monday night slaying of Trooper 1st Class Edward M. Toatley, 37, who was killed during a videotaped anti-drug operation in the District.

Trooper Toatley, a decorated 16-year veteran of the state police, is survived by his wife, Inez, a civilian employee of the Maryland State Police, and three children, ages 18, 5 and 18 months.

Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. David B. Mitchell described Mr. Orleans-Lindsay as "a menace to the community" and said he promised Trooper Toatley's family he will be found.

"This family is devastated," Col. Mitchell said. "We will pursue every lead until we are successful."

Trooper Toatley's funeral is scheduled for tomorrow at the Cathedral of Our Queen in Baltimore.

"We are optimistic we will catch him. In this case, we don't have to deal with the situation where we don't know who this person is," Mr. Gulotta said. "We know something about him and something about his life."

Mr. Gulotta said the FBI has no information that Mr. Orleans-Lindsay has left the country. He noted that, in addition to officers' knowing the suspect's identity, there is a $36,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Two FBI agents yesterday were parked down the street from the Silver Spring home of Elizabeth Lindsay, the suspect's mother, in case he attempted to return to her home. Police early Tuesday searched her home for her son.

"I have no comment. I have nothing to say," she told a reporter yesterday through the closed front door of her home in the 8800 block of Reading Road.

Trooper Toatley was a member of the Safe Streets Task Force, a joint federal-state operation created in 1992 to combat street gang- and drug-related violence as well as track down fugitives wanted for crimes of violence.

He picked up Mr. Orleans-Lindsay in Takoma Park and drove him in a Toyota 4Runner to the 2000 block of Douglas Street NE about 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Two Prince George's County, Md., police officers and five FBI agents were waiting near Douglas Street, at the intersection of Queens Chapel Road, to back up Trooper Toatley.

After the trooper gave Mr. Orleans-Lindsay $3,000, Mr. Orleans-Lindsay got out of the 4Runner, walked a few steps away, returned to the vehicle, opened the passenger door and fired once hitting Trooper Toatley once in the head, police said.

Although FBI agents and Prince George's County police officers were watching the transaction, Mr. Orleans-Lindsay escaped through the Northeast neighborhood.

Mr. Orleans-Lindsay is black, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, with a burn mark on his left hand and wrist. He is considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call detectives at 202/727-4504 or D.C. CrimeSolvers at 800/673-2777.

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