The real estate industry is in mourning for 33-year-old Steven Bernard Wilson, a sales and marketing representative for builder Ryan Homes, whose body was found inside a model home he was selling in Hanover, Md. on Wednesday evening, according to local news sources. Wilson, a married father of two young children who is described by many as a “loving husband, father, son, brother and friend,” was pronounced dead on the scene. His body exhibited signs of trauma.
“There was very clear upper body trauma. We can’t say yet if it was a gunshot wound, a knife wound or something like that because the autopsy hasn’t been completed yet,” said Sgt. Jacklyn Davis, a police spokeswoman, at press time.
Although no motive has been determined, police arrested Dillon Augustyniak, 18, of Jessup, on Thursday morning—officials believe he robbed and murdered Wilson in a premeditated act.
The industry is still reeling from past events, particularly the murder of Central Arkansas REALTOR® Beverly Carter, whose body was found on Sep. 20, 2014, five days after she went missing. Crystal Lowery and Arron Lewis were charged with first degree murder and kidnapping, and capital murder and kidnapping, respectively. Lowery was sentenced to 30 years in prison and Lewis was sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to ArkansasOnline.
Safety within an industry that often mandates long-stretches of time in vulnerable, isolated positions, remains a constant battle. Open houses and showings pose a risk to lone agents who may encounter individuals posing as buyers or sellers for nefarious reasons. For this reason, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) advocates for safety strategies, providing an abundance of resources to help agents, brokers and associations better prepare for the safety risks they face.
Additionally, NAR is collaborating with Carl Carter Jr.—Beverly Carter’s oldest son and the founder and executive director of the Beverly Carter Foundation—in an initiative to educate REALTORS® about the steps they can take to protect themselves while on the job.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Wilson’s children.
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.