On the final entry on her Facebook profile page, Mason Leigh Moldoven reposted a meme with the following message: “Never be afraid to ask for help … This goes to anyone out there struggling … YOU ARE NOT ALONE”
Friends and family members say that kind of sentiment was not out of character for the caring and bubbly Moldoven.
“She was a very gentle person,” said Moldoven’s cousin, Neil Samuels of Littlestown, Pa. “Just a very kind, gentle soul who was willing to help out anyone who would ask.”
Tragically, Moldoven, 28, was found stabbed to death on the afternoon of Sept. 3 behind her home in the 1100 block of Gorsuch Avenue in the Better Waverly area.
Towson resident Timothy “Timmy” Patrick Callanan, 26, was arrested in southeastern Georgia on Sept. 12 in connection to Moldoven’s murder. He is waiting extradition to Maryland.
According to media reports, police received a tip from the State’s Attorney’s Office saying that an individual called and reported that a friend had killed another friend at Moldoven’s residence. Moldoven recently moved into the house and lived there with several other people, according to neighbors.
Officers went to Moldoven’s home around 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 to conduct an investigation but found nothing inside, police said. In the back of the home, they found “human remains,” according to media reports.
In a Facebook post, Moldoven’s grandmother, Chesca Stein, wrote that a GoFundMe page was established to help pay for her granddaughter’s funeral costs. (Stein is a homeowner specialist at CHAI, or Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc., the housing and community development agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore.)
“My beautiful granddaughter, Mason Leigh Moldoven, was brutally murdered,” Stein wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Her body is still at the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. The police department are still conducting an investigation. …
“Mason … would never hurt anyone, if anything she had the most kind heart and generous nature; to die so violently and alone. I want her perpetrators found and brought to justice. … I do not have the money to pay for the fees related to funeral expenses. …
“I am not going to conjecture why she was murdered — that will not bring her back,” Stein wrote. “My husband Barry died over 6 years ago. He loved Mason. When we babysat her, Barry said that Mason was a special child and she was indeed. Hopefully, he and Mason are together now in peace.”
According to her LinkedIn page, Moldoven worked as an Uber driver and attended the Community College of Baltimore County. Among her interests were the Baltimore Ravens, music, nature, languages, the preservation of wolves in their natural environment, good food and cooking, traveling, reading, and respect for animals in general.
Moldoven is survived by her mother, Tracie Samuels; her grandmother, Chesca Stein; her grandfather, Mitchell (Peggy) Samuels; her aunts, Kayla Stein and Shelby Stein; and her adored dogs, Freckles and Jackson.
Moldoven’s virtual funeral service was held on Sept. 8, officiated by Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg of Beth Am Synagogue in Reservoir Hill, with eulogies delivered by Moldoven’s aunts and close friends. (It can be viewed at https://bethambaltimore.org/connect/videos/.)
In his eulogy, Rabbi Burg described Moldoven as “a beautiful life, a beautiful person. … Twenty-eight years is not enough.” He spoke about how she visited Israel several years ago on the Birthright Israel program, and celebrated her bat mitzvah there. “She loved the land and its bodies of water,” he said.
Rabbi Burg — who wore a purple tie as a tribute to Moldoven and her passion for the color — described her as “a giver. She was warm and kind, and she was funny and loved to make people laugh.” As a child, he said Moldoven was “smart, curious and precocious. … At 4, she could name every capital of every state. …
“Mason brought light into every room she entered,” Rabbi Burg said. “She was opinionated and bright … and she had a formidable intellect.”
Most of all, Rabbi Burg said, “Mason Moldoven was a person who saw the humanity in people. The world could use a few more people like Mason.” He advised those who loved her “to choose kindness and compassion” in their daily lives as a way of honoring Moldoven’s memory.
“Let that be her legacy,” Rabbi Burg said. “She loved life and she loved people. She didn’t see the bad in people. … Mason had a big heart. She was inclusive. She was not quick to judge but quick to understand.”
Moldoven’s family has asked that all memorial contributions be sent to Mission: Wolf, P.O. Box 1211, Westcliffe, Col., 81252, or https://missionwolf.org/ .