Local Digest: Police think mother killed 2 children, self; zoo to close invertebrate exhibit

June 17
MARYLAND
Police think mother killed 2 children, self

Hagerstown police are investigating the deaths of a mother and her two young daughters found in a car Monday as a murder-suicide.

Capt. Paul Kifer said that an investigation is ongoing but that police think the 32-year-old Hagerstown resident killed herself and her 6- and 18-month-old daughters.

The woman was in the front seat and the two girls were in the back seat of a small silver car that was found in the Western Heights Middle School parking lot about 4 p.m. Monday. Police said that the car was not running. The doors and windows were closed, and Kifer said heat may have contributed to the deaths.

Kifer said that the bodies bore no signs of trauma and that no potentially deadly objects were found in the car.

— Julie Zauzmer

the Region
3 children die in apparent drownings

Three children in the Washington region were found dead in apparent drownings this past weekend.

A 6-year-old boy from Ashburn, Va., died Friday after drowning in a swimming pool during an end-of-school party. The Loudoun County sheriff’s office said that Paul X. Wetshtein wandered away from a group during the party, which was held indoors at a private residence. Adults went looking for him and found him in the pool.

Also Friday, Faith J. Lee, 11, disappeared while swimming in Southern Maryland and was found dead Sunday. And a 14-year-old girl died after she was pulled from a community pool in Montgomery County on Sunday. Police identified her as Abrama Grace Tamo.

— Julie Zauzmer

The District
National Zoo to close invertebrate exhibit

The National Zoo announced Monday that it will shut down its exhibit of invertebrates — water and land creatures that don’t have backbones — on Sunday.

The closure of the exhibit, which is in a secluded part of the zoo, is a cost-cutting move, zoo Director Dennis W. Kelly said in a statement.

Some of the animals — the hissing cockroach, the bird-eating tarantula, the peppermint shrimp, among others — may be sent to other zoos, moved to other locations in the zoo or euthanized if new homes can’t be found.

The exhibit has cost $1 million a year to operate and needs an estimated $5 million in upgrades, the zoo said. Its five staff members will get jobs elsewhere in the zoo.

The last day to visit the exhibit is Saturday.

— Michael E. Ruane

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