Former employee murdered 66-year-old Bethesda man while trying to steal checks, cops say

A former employee was trying to steal checks from a 66-year-old Bethesda businessman and former Chevy Chase official when he shot and killed him, according to Montgomery County police arrest documents.

According to police, the body of Geoffrey Biddle was found in his basement after employees from his company became concerned when he didn’t show up for work. 

READ MORE: Neighbors say murdered 66-year-old former Chevy Chase official was 'friendly'

Investigators arrested Billy Phillips III, 36, of Rockville, after they found forged checks made out to him in the name of the victim, Geoffrey Biddle. 

A former business partner of Biddle told police that Phillips had been fired after fraud accusations surfaced, and he’d been struggling financially of late.

The former business partner told police that the checks had been deposited in a Navy Federal Credit Union account.

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Investigators say that a check forged using Biddle’s name for $4,550 had been deposited in the Navy Federal Credit Union account the day of the murder. They also found that $94 – which they believe was the same amount of cash stolen from Biddle’s wallet – had been deposited into a Navy Federal Credit Union ATM.

Employees from Biddle’s company also showed police checks made out to Phillips that appeared to be similar forgeries – including  one for $9,500.

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In addition, witnesses told police they say they saw a vehicle roughly matching the description of Phillips’ girlfriend’s SUV, as well as a man who approximately match his description in the neighborhood around the time of Biddle’s murder.

Police believe Phillips had returned to Biddle’s home to steal checks when he encountered his former employer and shot him to death.

Biddle was well remembered in the suburban Montgomery County community for his public service as the Chevy Chase village manager before leaving for the private sector.

He had purchased the electronic online payment management company from a neighbor who lived just a few streets away.

Phillips was jailed after being charged with first-degree murder.