The Washington Post

More than 100 people hear police request help in solving the slaying of Amber Stanley, 17

More than 100 people packed into the Kettering Community Center Monday night hoping to hear new details in the brutal slaying of a 17-year-old girl shot to death in her bedroom last month.

The short of it: police remain stumped as to who could have killed Amber Stanley, or why.

The hour-long meeting was in large part a plea from police commanders for those with information to come forward and an effort to reassure Kettering residents that their neighborhood -- which has seen only three violent crimes so far this year -- is safe. Prince George’s Deputy Police Chief Craig Howard told those in attendance that investigators don’t believe the Aug. 22 killing was random, but he declined to be more specific. An armed intruder, he said, simply made his or her way into Amber’s bedroom in the 100 block of Chartsey Street about 10:30 p.m., shot the teen, then walked out of the house.

After the meeting, residents said they felt the meeting was productive, even if it was simply a police request for help with the case.

“The point of the meeting was excellent because what happened is they are stumped,” said Deborah Spencer, 57, who had asked police to specifically address if the crime was random. “You would need something like this to bring people together and begin to jog their memory.”

Irma Gaither, Amber’s mother, said after the meeting that she was thankful for the community’s support. She begged those with information to relay it to investigators, saying life has not been the same without Amber -- a high school senior and model who aspired to one day go to Harvard University.

“I’m just at a loss,” Gaither said. “I’m just waiting to wake up.”

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.


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