BARTON, Md. – Days before young man's naked body was found in a Maryland state forest, and his girlfriend was found nearby, he opened a "transfer on death" account listing the woman as the beneficiary.
Court records describe the account and other details of the death in January of Alexander Stevens, which was ruled a homicide and remains unsolved.
Now, civil court records indicate police are investigating the attempted monetary transfer in connection with the death of the 24-year-old Frostburg man. In March, authorities ruled Stevens' death a homicide from "sharp force injuries to the neck," according to a Maryland State Police statement.
The Cumberland Times-News reports that a judge granted the request of Stevens' father to stop the transfer of more than $188,000. An attorney for Jay Stevens wrote that his son was "not of sound mind or capacity" when he opened the account. The document also says the "activity" of his son and girlfriend the night of his death had been planned for two weeks, with both of them "focused irrationally on this event."
Police said Stevens' girlfriend told officers they hiked to an overlook in the Savage River State Forest on the night of Jan. 3, and both fell off a cliff.
The woman said she thought Stevens was dead after the 33-foot fall, and left him below the cliff before breaking into a home where she called 911, according to transcripts of Garrett County emergency communications. She was taken to a hospital with a broken shoulder and a possible broken back.
The next day, Stevens' body was found on a logging road. The newspaper reported that in addition to his broken bones, his throat had been cut deeply, more than once.
As part of a state's attorney's request for any mental health records the woman may have, a state police investigator testified in May that she changed her account over the course of three interviews. A circuit court judge found no records that could legally be disclosed to investigators.
The Associated Press is not identifying the woman because she is not charged with any crime. Her attorney, Stephen Tully, declined to discuss any details, but said his client is going through a traumatic experience. "This is a difficult time," he said.
Court records state Jay Stevens told police that his son had been acting differently for several years.
"He'd grown his hair longer . was reading about religions, thinking about his place in society," Jay Stevens said. "I never, never, ever, ever thought that he was suicidal . I know my son . He had all these plans to do things."
In a phone interview last week with the Times-News, Jay Stevens said his son had built up his account by investing money he was given over time, including a large sum from a great-aunt who had no children.
Information from: Cumberland (Md.) Times-News, http://www.times-news.com/timesnew.html