Police identify suspect in New Year’s Day murder in Ellicott City

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ELLICOTT CITY, MD — Howard County Police have named the person suspected of shooting and killing a 16-year-old girl in the early hours of New Year’s Day at a home in Ellicott City.

On Tuesday, police said Sean Crizer, 15, of Ellicott City, Md. has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was the suspected of killing Charlotte Zaremba and shooting her mother, Suzanne Zaremba.

Police said at around 1:30 a.m. on January 1, Zaremba and her parents had just returned to their home on the 4800 block of Knoll Glen Rd. from a New Year’s Eve party.

"Suzanne, Charlotte’s mother, heard a scuffle in her daughter’s bedroom and when she entered the room, she saw that Charlotte was struggling with a masked suspect,” said Howard County Police Department Spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn. She added that the suspect was Crizer. He shot Suzanne and then Charlotte, before turning the gun on himself. "We absolutely do not know the suspect’s motive in this case. We can’t ask him. So we don’t know why he was at that particular home at that time."

Police said Crizer lived on the Alice Avenue, only a block away from the Zaremba house and believe he was responsible for at least two other burglaries in the neighborhood in recent weeks.

"In one of those burglaries, a gun was stolen and that was the gun used in this shooting,” added Llewellyn.

But beyond living in the same neighborhood and both going to Howard High School, police said they have found nothing linking Zaremba and Crizer.

The family of Zaremba released a statement on Tuesday:

"The family of Charlotte Michelle Zaremba is very grateful to the community for the outpouring of support. We are overwhelmed by the many prayers, tributes, and thoughts that have been sent our way as we mourn the sudden loss of an amazing and caring young woman.

We are particularly grateful to the Howard County Police and Fire Departments, University of Maryland Shock Trauma, the Howard County General Hospital pediatric unit, and the Howard County Violent Crimes Unit for the care and professionalism they have shown.

We respectfully ask for privacy as we deal with our grief and loss," read the statement.

A GoFundMe page for Zaremba has been set up to help pay for funeral costs. Some of the money raised will also go to charities that Zaremba supported.

The investigation is ongoing. Police ask if anyone has information about this case to contact them at 410-313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov