- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 1, 2004

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The sister of a man whose remains washed up in three suitcases off the Virginia coast said yesterday her brother died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

The dismembered body of William T. McGuire, 39, washed up in the Chesapeake Bay in early May in his own matching luggage. Virginia Beach police are investigating the slaying but have refused to release the cause of death. Mr. McGuire’s oldest sister obtained a copy of the death certificate, a family member said.

The family has turned to reporters in recent days for help in solving the case, complaining that key evidence is being overlooked by detectives with the Virginia Beach police, the lead investigators.

Police spokesman Brian Ricardo yesterday would not comment on the cause of death provided by the victim’s sister, Nancy Taylor, or on the family’s complaints and other details of the investigation.

However, Mr. Ricardo confirmed that detectives met with prosecuting attorneys yesterday for a status conference on the case, saying, “The outcome [of the meeting] was the investigation is ongoing.”

“As soon as we have something else that the media needs to be aware of, we will let everyone know,” he said.

Mrs. Taylor said her sister, Cindy Ligosh, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., went to Virginia Beach for the status conference.

“I don’t know who killed my brother,” Mrs. Taylor, 44, said in an interview Monday from her home in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. “It was a well-thought-out, well-calculated, heinous murder.”

Mrs. Taylor also said she did not know whether her brother or sister-in-law owned a gun.

The remains of Mr. McGuire, 39, washed up in the Chesapeake Bay in early May. His wife of four years, Melanie, said he left their Woodbridge, N.J., apartment in the middle of the night after the couple closed on a $500,000 home in Warren County and got into a heated argument.

Mr. McGuire had taken the next two weeks off from his job as a computer analyst for the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark to move into the home.

Virginia Beach police have jurisdiction because that’s where the body turned up, and it’s not known whether he was killed elsewhere, authorities said.

But Mrs. Taylor said police have legwork to do in New Jersey. She is furious that the home the McGuires bought just before her brother disappeared April 29 is about to change hands without being searched for clues.

“The new owners are moving into a house that could possibly be a crime scene, and they have no idea,” Mrs. Taylor said. “It would have been the perfect place to cut up his body.”

Mrs. Taylor said she and her sister were misled into thinking that the FBI would be involved in the case because it was an interstate crime.

“How can the FBI say that it wasn’t an interstate murder when he was last seen in New Jersey, his car was found in New Jersey, the last phone call was from New Jersey, and his body was found in Virginia?” Mrs. Taylor asked. “I expect the FBI to jump on this immediately.”

Mrs. Taylor said Woodbridge police have been holding Mr. McGuire’s clothes since detectives retrieved them from a giveaway pile made by his wife in June and that Virginia Beach police have yet to pick them up.

Mr. McGuire’s wife filed for divorce less than four weeks after he disappeared. Three days after the filing, she was told by police that Mr. McGuire was dead, after his body had been identified by a Navy friend who saw Mr. McGuire’s photo in a Virginia newspaper accompanying a story on the suitcase slaying.

Based largely on Mrs. McGuire’s divorce filing and her comments, Mr. McGuire was portrayed as a master manipulator with a violent temper, a thirst for alcohol and a lust for gambling. Mrs. Taylor wants to set the record straight.

“Everybody loved my brother,” she said of a man family and friends still called ‘Billy.’ “He was a very patriotic guy. He went to military school. He served his country. He cared.

“His world revolved around his children,” she said of Mr. McGuire’s sons, ages 4 and 2. “He was the one who read to them every night, he was the one who bought them new clothes. He fed them, he bathed them, he put them to bed.”

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