The murder of Angela Maxwell
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Investigators believe Angela Maxwell knew her killer, but the crime is so cruel it hard to imagine. Maxwell, badly beaten, died while holding her 3-week old baby.

LAKE CITY, Fla. — It was a story that dominated the front page of the Lake City Reporter in August of 1992. A young mother dead, her newborn baby found alive in her arms.

Her killer never arrested.

But like ink on a page, the case faded from the headlines. Until now, as detectives are giving it another look.

What happened to 20-year-old Angela Maxwell begins on the night of Aug. 3, 1992. Around 11 p.m. that night, she spoke with her neighbor, got some food and then went into her house on Azalea Place where she lived alone with her 11-month-old daughter and three-week-old son.

But the next day, she wasn’t seen.

“Several people hear one of the children crying, feel there is someone in the apartment with the young lady and she doesn’t want to be disturbed so they leave her be,” said Detective Greg Burnsed with the Lake City Police Department.

Two days later on Aug. 5 of 1992, Angela’s 15-year-old brother was playing basketball nearby and wanted a drink of water. When the front door was locked, he tried around back and found the back door locked too, so he peeked through the window.

“He looks through the back window and sees her on the couch unresponsive. He calls law enforcement, they respond and find her deceased,” says Burnsed.

Angela had been badly beaten, the report notes multiple blows to her head, her newborn baby lying facedown on her chest, incredibly alive. Her 11-month-old daughter found crawling on the floor nearby. Both dehydrated and hungry, but otherwise unharmed. Her oldest child was in the care of a relative and not in the home at the time.

Investigators believed from the beginning, Angela Maxwell knew her killer. The home was locked and there was no forced entry. Angela had cashed a $200 check before her murder, that money not found in her apartment, but they aren’t sure if it was a robbery. It is unclear if she was sexually assaulted before her murder. 

“As far as I know, we have never developed any suspects,” said Burnsed.

Angela’s aunt told the newspaper in 1993, her niece was friendly, loved by her family, knew a lot of people and had only been living in that home on Azalea Place for a year. Investigators searched the area around the home, but never found the murder weapon used to beat Angela, but something else was possibly left behind.

“They [the killer] had to be close enough they were touching Angela or something in the house,” said Burnsed, “Their DNA is somewhere in the evidence we are sure.”

Which is one of the reasons detectives are hopeful. In reopening this case, Det. Burnsed along with Det. Poteat say they discovered fingerprints, blood evidence and biological evidence that was preserved and will be resubmitted for testing with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 

But they still want information from the public, especially those who knew Angela Maxwell in 1992.

“First hand knowledge, not rumors they heard, first hand knowledge please contact us and let us look into it,” explains Det. Burnsed.

If you know anything about the murder of Angela Maxwell, contact the Lake City Police Department at 386-719-2068.

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