Deceased/Not Found MD - Rochelle Battle, 16, Baltimore, 6 March 2009 *J. Gross guilty*


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Jun 3, 2005
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14 March 09

Baltimore County police have identified the girl who has been missing for more than a week.

Homicide investigators continued to search for Rochell Denise Battle, 16, of the 2800 block of Boarman Avenue in Baltimore. The girl, described as black, standing between 5-foot-1 and 5-foot-3 and weighing between 170 and 190 lbs., has been missing since March 6.

Investigators continued to search an 8.5-acre wood surrounding Ace Roll-Off Services, a junkyard in Middle River. They also were taking a dozen dumpsters to Eastern Sanitary Landfill in White Marsh to sift through the contents.

"Later, the family learned she connected with a man in Baltimore County. Battle had called her girlfriend to say she was with her "white friend." As her family continually tried to get in touch with her, Battle's cell phone went dead."

Do teens really talk like that? I mean, do they say I'm with my "white" friend or "black" friend? That just doesn't sound right to me. I'm not saying I don't think they're telling the truth, but everything sounded plausible to me until that.

Police seek help finding missing Baltimore teen after trash facility search turns up no clues
March 19, 2009

Baltimore County police are asking for the public's help finding a missing 16-year-old Baltimore girl.

Police said Wednesday that a search of a trash collection facility in Chase over the weekend did not turn up information about the disappearance of Rochelle Denise Battle.

Investigators think Battle may might have taken a bus from Eastpoint Mall to Eastern Boulevard and Old Eastern Avenue between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. March 6.

Acting on information they had received, police began searching Ace Roll-Off Services in the 200 block of Earls Road on Friday. The search ended Sunday.
April 16, 2010
Cops make murder arrest despite no body

Rochelle Battle is still missing.

But Baltimore County police today arrested a man and charged him with killing the 16-year-old girl. No motive is listed, nor did police say whether there is any connection between the missing girl and the suspect, or how they can prove she was killed.

Here is the statement from authorities:

Baltimore County Police have arrested Jason Matthew Gross, 35, of the 1900-block of Eloise Lane, 21040 for the disappearance and murder of Rochelle Battle, a 16-year-old female who was reported missing March 6, 2009. Jason Gross was indicted by a Baltimore County Grand Jury in her murder.

Police are still trying to locate Rochelle Battle’s body. Her description when she was last seen is that of a black female, 5’1” to 5’3” tall, weighing approximately 170 pounds. She was wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and boots that came just below the knees.

more here


A grand jury indicted Gross on April 14 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Gross was arrested late Thursday afternoon and charged with first-degree murder. He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on a no bond status.

:rose: RIP, Rochelle.

May justice be served.
Poor Rochelle.

May you rest in peace young lady. I'm so sorry you were taken from this world so young.
Another young life full of promise snuffed out. Add her to the ever growing list.
Thinking of Rochelle and her beloved family and friends.
You are not forgotten.
"This was the most complex, difficult case of my career,&#8221; prosecutor Robin Coffin said. &#8220;How do you prove a negative? The key was showing there was no proof that Rochelle was still alive before being able to prove who murdered her.&#8221;...

according to prosecutors, at some point not long after that last phone call, Gross killed her and had her body incinerated at a nearby landfill where he worked off Earls Road in Chase. A jury agreed.

&#8220;We&#8217;ll never know exactly how, when or where Rochelle died, but we spent 13 months proving there is no proof she is alive and Jason Gross was the last person to be with her,&#8221; Coffin said...

prosecutors used technology to tear apart Gross&#8217; alibi and convince jurors that there is no other plausible explanation as to what happened to Battle other than that Gross killed her.

This included placing him in his work truck at a gas station adjacent to Martin State Airport where surveillance photos showed him purchasing condoms there after he told investigators he was at a bar during the same period.

It sounds like they didn't even find any blood or anything...
Defense attorney Jim Dills told jurors during opening statements Thursday that there was no proof that Battle is dead. He said there is no body, no proof Gross committed murder.

"There is no physical evidence, no DNA ... no blood, no fingerprints, there is nothing," Dills said. "The state is trying to paint a picture of Mr. Gross as a criminal genius that can make bodies disappear."...

The defense claimed Battle was a prostitute using a chat line to go out and commit prostitution...

Gross said the last time they spoke, Battle was taking a bus on the way to meet him at a bar close to his house. She had said she was at Eastpoint Mall and was on her way, but she never showed. The defense said the two never met.

Gross told police he wanted to meet Battle in a public place in case she was a juvenile. He said she had told him she was in her 20s.
Battle&#8217;s mother LaTarsha Cockey wrote a victim impact statement, but Battle&#8217;s father, Marvin Battle, read the statement to Cox.
The statement outlines how Rochelle Battle made mistakes in her life, but Gross took away any opportunity for her to rectify those missteps. Marvin Battle said his daughter wanted to one day own her own business and enjoyed cooking, writing poetry and composing raps.
&#8220;I want closure for this case, because I will never have peace since I never know where she may be,&#8221; Marvin Battle read from Cockey&#8217;s statement. &#8220;Everyone deserves to be laid to rest and their family to say their goodbyes. I can&#8217;t do that because Rochelle was completely taken from me.&#8221;
With the core of the county homicide squad occupying the entire back row of the courtroom, the victim&#8217;s mom on the edge of her seat quietly crying while hugging a large stuffed animal, the Jason Gross sentencing had begun.

The cell phone records of 16-year-old Rochelle Battle led her family and investigators to Gross&#8217; house...

Friday in court, her mom was too tearful to take the stand. Her father read a statement, saying their lives were now empty.

In the end, the judge said she completely believed the prosecution&#8217;s case...
Prosecutors said Gross killed Rochelle Battle and disposed of her body in March 2009. In that case, prosecutors used technology to establish a connection between Gross and Battle and lay the foundation in court to outline a timeline of when Battle likely died.

One key piece of evidence used by prosecutors to prove Battle's death was her cellphone. The teen made 129 calls during the first six days of March 2009, but nothing after that.

&#8220;With adults, we can examine things like credit cards, bank statements, cellphones and ATM activity,&#8221; said Baltimore County police Detective Ryan Massey, who investigated Battle&#8217;s death. &#8220;With minors, there&#8217;s much less to go on. Teens tend to be very active on their phones and social media. When that goes silent, it tells volumes that something likely happened to them.&#8221;

Massey said it took more than a year to piece together a timeline that provided enough evidence that Gross was the prime suspect in Battle&#8217;s death. It required a thorough examination of security footage, cellphone records and data and even aerial photos to determine that Gross and Battle were together on the day she died.

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