Anne Arundel County Police are hunting for a killer. Investigators say they were called to the Popeyes on Ritchie Highway in Brooklyn Park around 8 Sunday morning.
"The manager arrived at the Popeyes to open the business for the day, walked in and saw a horrific scene," said Anne Arundel County Police Lieutenant T.J. Smith.
Police say inside a back stockroom was the dead body of a female employee who worked Saturday night. We're told she suffered significant trauma to her body.
“It was a bloody scene and we found that the female was in fact deceased,” Smith said.
Detective were a the fast food joint for most of the day, canvassing the area and combing for evidence looking for any clue that will lead them to the killer.
Popeyes closed around 1AM Sunday, and right now it's not clear why the woman was murdered. Police have identified the worker as 47-year-old Luzviminda Monreal, co-workers tell us she went by Minda.
"She has definitely become part of our Popeyes family, and she always carried a smile about her, never got upset, and she was very hard working," said Popeyes Area Manager Ebenezer Samuel.
He says Minda worked for the company for about 25 years, starting out as a cashier and working her way up to general manager. We're told the Laurel woman was well known by customers and was very kind with a big heart.
“She always liked to help, even if a customer came with less change she gave her personal money in order to take care of the customer,” Samuel said. “She'll be missed, definitely she'll be missed."
Investigators are interviewing co-workers and gathering surveillance video from nearby businesses. Police say the fast food joint was targeted.
"We're confident that we're going to get an arrest in this case,” said Smith. “We're tracking down several leads as we speak and we hope to get an arrest soon."
The restaurant will be closed for a few days. If you have any information about this homicide please call Anne Arundel County Police at 410-222-8610.