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The Boston Globe

Nation

Man with Down syndrome died in custody of policemen he idolized

Maryland authorities rule death a homicide and investigate

FREDERICK, Md. — Fascinated with law enforcement, Robert Ethan Saylor would sometimes call 911 just to ask the dispatchers a question. He loved talking to police officers and was a loyal follower of the TV show ‘‘NCIS.’’

Now, his death at age 26 is the subject of a criminal investigation that has left those who knew him in his Frederick County community and those who didn’t around the country wondering: How did a young man with Down syndrome die in an encounter with the very people he idolized?

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