Police investigate fatal hit-and-run in Herndon

Herndon police are searching for a 32-year-old man after a bizarre incident in which his wife was fatally struck by a vehicle early Wednesday shortly before his Toyota was involved in a crash nearby.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the disabled Toyota abandoned. And as of late afternoon, the man, Fitsum A. Gebretatios, remained missing, police said. Though they said they found a man’s body in a nearby creek and were working to identify him and determine how he died.

Also, shortly after finding the woman’s body, police discovered her three “very small children” alone in the couple’s residence, said Lieutenant Ron Thunman, a police spokesman. He said child-welfare workers removed the youngsters from the home.

The woman, whose name and age were withheld by police pending notification of her next of kin, was found dead shortly after midnight in a parking lot in the 600 block of Center Street, a neighborhood of mainly apartments and townhouses, Thunman said. He said the woman had been run over by a vehicle that left the scene.

About a block away, officers found the wreckage of her husband’s black Toyota Camry, Thunman said. He said Gebretatios’s Toyota had collided so violently with a parked car that the second vehicle slammed into two other parked vehicles, causing significant damage.

“We really would like to speak to that person,” Thunman said of the husband. “We’re hoping that he can tell us who was driving the vehicle.”

Thunman said the Toyota is registered to Gebretatios, but investigators have not determined whether he was driving it at the time of the crash or whether the Toyota was the vehicle that struck the woman.

Thunman said Gebretatios and his wife lived together, but he would not disclose their address.

Police asked that anyone with information about the incident, the victim or any potential suspects to call the Herndon Police Department at 703-435-6846.

This item has been updated.

Paul Duggan covers the Metro system and transportation issues for The Washington Post.

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