The 27-year-old co-worker of the woman killed at a Bethesda yoga store, who originally was portrayed as a victim in the violent outburst, has been charged in the killing of Jayna T. Murray, according to Montgomery County police chief Thomas Manger.
Manger identified the co-worker as Brittany Norwood and said she is being charged with first-degree murder.
Manger said that the evidence found in the case did not match up with what Norwood had originally said.
“In fact, it was taking us in another direction,” Manger said.
Police originally said that Murray, an employee of Lululemon Athletica on Bethesda Row, was raped
and beaten to death. Norwood also was in the store, and was found tied up the morning of March 12, police said. Now, Manger said, there’s no evidence that either victim was sexually assaulted.
Manger said that evidence was found in Murray’s car, which was found in a parking lot a few blocks away, and that detectives determined that there were two sets of footprints at the crime scene — one belonging to Norwood and one from a size 14 shoe that was recovered in the store.
Two sources said that, at this point, it appears no one else was involved. Manger called it a “very active investigation.”
Manger said that people working in a neighboring store had heard two women arguing but wouldn't detail anything more about a motive or the timing of the argument.
At 9 p.m. Friday, Murray, 30, and Norwood closed Lululemon. At 9:45 p.m., they set the alarm, locked the store and left.
A short time later, Manger said, Norwood said that she had left something behind, called =Murray, and the two met back at the store. They entered the front door at 10:05 p.m., police said.
Police at first said that two men followed the woman in the store, wearing dark clothing and ski masks.
Murray received “catastrophic” injuries that rattled even longtime law enforcement officers, sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said. Norwood was discovered Saturday morning after another employee came to open the store. It is unclear how she came to be tied up and beaten.
Norwood is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning, Manger said.
[This post has been updated.]