Where was Mariame Sylla found? Missing Greenbelt teacher's remains found, suspect is charged with murder

Mariame Sylla and Harold Francis Landon III (Image via LMB and Homa Bash/X)
Mariame Sylla and Harold Francis Landon III (Image via LMB and Homa Bash/X)

Mariame Sylla, a 59-year-old beloved teacher from Maryland, reportedly vanished after going on an evening walk in a local park on July 29, 2023. She was reportedly found dead on August 1, 2023.

Mariame Sylla, a mother of five, was last seen on July 29 near her home in Greenbelt. She reportedly went for a daily 30- to 45-minute walk at a nearby park before she vanished without a trace. The second-grade teacher at Dora Kennedy French Immersion School in Greenbelt was reported missing the next day by a concerned friend.

Following an exhaustive search, police reportedly found the unidentified dismembered remains of a woman on August 1, 2023. A month after the discovery, on Friday, September 1, 2023, Prince George's County police announced that the dismembered remains found near the 7300 block of Old Alexander Ferry Road in Clinton just days after Sylla's disappearance had been identified as hers.

Authorities said that police discovered the remains after a concerned citizen alerted the police about the same. The police arrived shortly after and transferred the dismembered body to a medical examiner for further examination. Officials confirmed that the DNA analysis has identified the remains as Mariame Sylla.

Harold Francis Landon III arrested in connection to Greenbelt teacher Mariame Sylla's death

On Friday, Prince George's County police announced that a suspect was arrested in connection to the death of Mariame Sylla. The suspect, identified as, Harold Francis Landon III of University Park, was charged with her murder after investigators discovered that he was in the park at the same time as the victim. The suspect, who has a prior criminal record, has reportedly been in prison since August 1 on an unrelated domestic violence charge.

Authorities, who have yet to establish a motive for the murder, said that the victim and the suspect did not know each other. In a statement on Friday, Prince George's County Police Chief Malik Aziz said:

“This appears to be stranger to stranger at this particular time. You know, when we’re investigating these types of things, we always leave a door open for something that could have been missed, but our detectives have been working really hard to make those connections."

Aziz added that despite their best efforts, they have not found any evidence that indicate the victim and the suspect were acquainted. Aziz, who described the incident as a senseless act of violence, noted:

“I just think we have a person who decided to commit a horrific crime. The most horrific crime you can do is murder. And do that for some unknown, unjustifiable reason.”

Mariame Sylla was planning to retire from teaching in a year

Prince George’s County Educators Association President Dr. Donna Christy said that Mariame Sylla, known as Madame Sylla among the students, was planning to retire in a year. Christy revealed that Sylla, who had purchased a home on the Ivory Coast in Africa, was excited about the next phase of her life.

Shortly after Mariame Sylla’s disappearance, several people, including students and teachers gathered to pray for her safe return. Following the confirmation of her death on Friday County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said:

“To all of the young people who love Miss Sylla, who we’ve heard from over the last few weeks, second-grade students that she taught, to tell all of those students, as well, that we express our grief and condolences to them.”

The suspect who was charged with first-degree murder remains behind bars.

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