Missing Maryland pastor Sean Hall has been found murdered in Upper Marlboro

Just before Memorial Day, Sean Eric Hall was preparing to eat out at his home in Hagerstown, Maryland. He searched for recipes for homemade ice cream His family said: He told his neighbors.

The previous Sunday night, the 59-year-old drove off in his red Ford Fusion and disappeared. He left behind his cane corso, Xena, and did not show up for work the following days.

“He would never leave Xena without telling anyone,” his younger sister, Michelle Runyon, said.

Hall’s disappearance in late May sparked a massive search, with his family combing his laptop, phone records and credit card data for signs of his whereabouts while police simultaneously conducted their investigations. Weeks passed and evidence slowly emerged: an address was found in Hall’s search history. Parking tickets were filed for a car parked in the hall. Thousands of dollars were spent on businesses crossing multiple counties in Maryland after he was last seen.

Nearly three months after he was first reported missing in Hagerstown, Prince George’s County police found his remains nearly 100 miles away in Upper Marlboro.

Police and his family say a trail of evidence leads to Boise Neal, a 57-year-old man from Glen Burnie, Maryland, who started a business with Hall after the two men met in prison, where Hall was a chaplain and Neal was a pastor. Jailed. Although the motive remains under investigation, authorities have charged Neal with first-degree murder, police said. Police say Neal met Hall in an Upper Marlboro parking lot the day he disappeared, and later confessed to his girlfriend to killing Hall, saying, “I had no other choice…I’m a very bad man.”

Neal is being held without bail at the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections. According to online court records, Neal is represented by the Prince George’s County Public Defender’s Office, which declined to comment on the story.

While Hall’s family never gave up hope when he was missing, the search for a beloved father and friend coming to an end was worse than they could have imagined.

“I thought I was going to feel better, I was going to feel more at peace, but actually I felt worse,” Sherry Maston, Hall’s older sister, said of August. Arrest the one who killed her brother. “During the operation, we were so busy trying to find everything, catch everything…trying to find Sean, that was our main goal.”

“I didn’t know a stranger”

Hall was born and raised in West Virginia, the only brother of two sisters. Runyon, 55, said Hall, a fan of college and professional football, often attended West Virginia Mountaineers and Baltimore Ravens games with his 26-year-old son.

“He was a very outgoing person, he didn’t know a stranger,” Runyon said.

Last Christmas, Hall dressed up as Santa Claus for his nieces and nephews at a family Christmas party. “The kids loved it so much, it will become a family tradition,” Runyon said.

Before his last job at Tractor Supply in Hagerstown, Hall spent years pastoring his own church in Parkersburg, West Virginia, according to his family. His Christian faith was crucial to him, and when he moved to Maryland, Hall became a prison chaplain in Hagerstown.

Hall resigned from his position at the facility, the Maryland Correctional Training Center, in 2021, according to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

While there, Hall also met Neal, who had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County, including robbery and weapons offenses. According to charging documents, Neal would “take care” of Hall “like his protector.” When Neal was released from prison, the two became business partners and planned to start a vehicle transportation business, according to charging documents.

The Hall family knew little about Neil but knew that Hall was looking to start a new business.

“That’s the thing about Sean, he sees the good in everyone and believes in second chances,” Runyon said. “Some people don’t deserve a second chance.”

According to charging documents, neighbors said they saw Hall cutting his lawn on the afternoon of May 28, the Sunday before Memorial Day. Later that night, a neighbor reported seeing Hall “leaving hurriedly in his red Ford Fusion.”

By May 31, Hall’s son told his aunt that Hall was not in touch with the young men he began mentoring after meeting on a mission trip in Africa in 2012, and with whom he sometimes spoke twice a day. On June 1, Hall was reported missing through Hagerstown police, according to charging documents. An officer who responded to Hall’s home said they found an open garage door without his car and his driver’s license inside a safe.

“We knew at the moment that Sean wasn’t home and wasn’t answering his phone,” Maston, 63, said. “We just knew he wasn’t like our brother.”

While the police published a leaflet about a missing person, The family traveled to Hagerstown to search for information about Hall’s whereabouts. They picked up Hall’s dog and collected valuables from his home, including his computer.

Hagerstown police obtained Hall’s call records, according to charging documents, and discovered through mapping software that Hall had traveled to Upper Marlboro on the night he was seen driving away from home. The last call from his cellphone was at 4:35 a.m., west of the 13300 block of Old Marlboro Pike, documents said.

With the assistance of Prince George’s County Police, investigators found his vehicle near Southern Avenue in Suitland. “The entire floor mat was removed from the trunk” and an 8-inch “large butcher knife” was found on the trunk frame, according to charging documents.

Back in West Virginia, with her brother’s laptop at home, Maston began noticing bank card charges on Hall’s credit card. According to charging documents, the charges extended to several businesses in Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County and Washington, D.C.

“It was one of those moments you make yourself sick to your stomach,” Maston said. “When I started looking at the current charges, they were all after he disappeared. There was approximately $3,000 in fees.

Maston also called Hall’s cellphone provider and found that Hall had received a call from Neal’s phone number on the night police said he left for Upper Marlboro. When she dug further into Hall’s laptop, she discovered he had also looked up directions to 13308 Old Marlboro Pike, which police confirmed was the address between the two cell towers where Hall’s phone was last sent, according to charging documents.

During the investigation, police learned from the family that Hall had purchased and registered a white Dodge Ram worth $80,000, with monthly payments of up to $1,800, for the company, charging documents said. The truck was mostly used by Neal and the payments were more than Hall could afford at the time, documents said.

Parking tickets began arriving in the mail for the truck, and she discovered that in the weeks after Hall’s disappearance, they were repossessed for missed payments, Maston said. Parking tickets showed a location not far from where Hall’s car was found, according to authorities.

Maston continued to pray with family and friends all the way to Germany, hoping to find her brother alive.

Police eventually tracked the truck to a Glen Burnie address connected to Neal in July, according to charging documents, and found three receipts from the same bank card used at a liquor store after Hall’s disappearance. Police obtained store surveillance video showing a man and woman using the card. The man in the footage matched photos of Neal provided by Hall’s family, charging documents said.

Investigators found Neal and his girlfriend at a hotel in Glen Burnie on Aug. 23 and executed a search warrant, charging documents said. Neil told police that the last time he saw Hall was a week before he disappeared and that Hall had given him his bank card in April. He denied “knowledge of Old Marlboro Pike,” the documents said.

After changing his story during his interview with investigators “several times,” Neal admitted to meeting Hall in the parking lot of Old Marlboro Pike early on May 29, where “they were drinking in Hall’s Ford Fusion,” police said in charging documents.

The documents do not detail how investigators believe Hall was killed, but they indicate a white Dodge Ram appeared in the area shortly after Hall arrived. Investigators also say Neal called someone to help him dispose of Hall’s body and his car. No one else has been charged in Hall’s killing at this time, police said. An autopsy to determine the cause of death is still pending.

“He tried to tell me before I arrested him.” Neal sent a text message to his girlfriend on May 29, according to charging documents. “I had no choice.”

Maston said she received a phone call from investigators around 3 p.m. on August 23 informing her that they had arrested the man accused of killing her brother. But she has not yet received any information about her brother’s whereabouts.

“I was grateful they arrested him and had enough to take him into custody, but my main goal was to find my brother,” Maston said. “And I knew, at this point, that it wouldn’t be a body, it would be his remains.”

The detective called her again at about 8 p.m. that evening.

“He asked me if I had prayed that night and day, and I said, ‘Well, I had a lot of people praying’… because that was all we had left to do.” “Only God will solve this problem,” Maston said.

Hall’s skeletal remains, along with what appeared to be duct tape, were found near a fence adjacent to the Old Marlboro Pike property where he last met Neal, according to charging documents.

He said, “Well, your prayers have been answered.” “We found your brother,” Maston said.

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