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Alleged Murder Victim Part Of '06 Charity Scam
POCOMOKE - The woman's body found along a dirt road outside Pocomoke last Sunday turned out to be the woman arrested in Ocean City two years ago for fraudulently soliciting money for charities and events she did not represent including the annual Penguin Swim.
The Worcester County Sheriff's Office and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) this week is investigating the homicide of Judy Lynn Wojcik, 42, of no fixed address, whose body was found by trappers on a dirt road in Pocomoke last Sunday. The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for an autopsy, which revealed the identity of the victim and determined the cause of her death was homicide.
Wojcik and Justin Taylor Martin, now 35, were arrested in December 2005 and charged with theft scheme, multiple counts of theft under $500 and possession of crack cocaine and paraphernalia after Ocean City Police detectives were able to connect them to an ongoing theft scheme. Wojcik and Martin had been going door-to-door at residences and businesses in West Ocean City and Ocean City soliciting donations for charities and organizations they did not represent including the 2006 Atlantic General Hospital Foundation Penguin Swim.
The couple began their theft scheme sometime in the fall of 2006 in West Ocean City, where they made the rounds asking for cash donations and even checks in some cases for a variety of causes for which they were not affiliated nor recognized by, including the Penguin Swim, the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk and the American Cancer Society.
Their modus operandi appeared to be to check into an area motel, canvas the area with their illicit solicitations until they wore out their welcome or became well known to area business owners or residents, and then pull up stakes and move on to another unsuspecting area. After getting bounced from a West Ocean City motel in early December, the couple apparently took their act across the bridge into Ocean City, where they were eventually caught and arrested.
OCPD detectives had received complaints about Wojcik and Martin and were keeping close tabs on them before collecting enough evidence to make arrests. At the time of the arrest, investigators located suspected crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia in the defendants' possession. They also learned Martin was a fugitive from New York, wanted on an extraditable arrest warrant for possession of stolen goods.
The couple invariably asked for untraceable cash donations, but they were not above taking personal checks made out to the various organizations they claimed to represent. At the time of their arrest, police discovered at least three checks made out to the AGH Foundation for the Penguin Swim.
In April 2006, Wojcik was found guilty of possession of crack cocaine and was sentenced to 270 days in jail. She was also found guilty on one count of theft under $500 and was sentenced to another 90 days, netting her almost a year in jail. Martin was found guilty on two counts of theft and was sentenced to 90 days in jail for each.
It remains uncertain how or why Wojcik was murdered and left on the side of the road in Pocomoke last Sunday. The county Sheriff's Office is offering a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspect or suspects in the case. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office at 410-632-1111.