Authorities reopen investigation of 1982 killing of woman, 20, in Loudoun County

December 23, 2013

Thirty-one years after a Fairfax County woman was slain in Loudoun, investigators with the Virginia State Police and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office are hoping that the public might help them uncover new information to solve the case.

Veronica Hepworth was 20 when her partially clothed body was found along a driveway in Loudoun at 7 a.m. Feb. 25, 1982. She was noticed by a passerby driving along Route 50, about a quarter-mile east of Route 15 near Gilberts Corner, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Hepworth was last seen alive at about 1:30 that morning at the Fancy Dancer Bar on Route 1 in Fairfax. She was part of a group celebrating a friend’s birthday. It is unknown whether Hepworth left the bar alone and hitchhiked to get home or left with someone, authorities said.

Based on tips and witness information, a red pickup truck, possibly a late 1960s or 1970s model, was seen near the farm where Hepworth’s body was found, authorities said.

The homicide is one of nearly 20 unsolved cases being investigated by the sheriff’s office’s cold-case unit. The unit, which was created by Sheriff Mike Chapman soon after he took office last year, has focused on reopening unsolved cases that have languished for years.

To help solve Hepworth’s killing, investigators said they are hoping that the public might help identify a young man who was Hepworth’s last known serious boyfriend. Authorities released a photograph of the man, who is white, had dark hair and would now be about 50.

Investigators said that the man is not necessarily a suspect in the case but that they hope he might help provide authorities with additional information.

Anyone with information about Hepworth or her unidentified boyfriend is urged to call the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Fairfax Field Office at 703-376-1690, or the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office at 703-737-8487. All calls will remain confidential, authorities said.

Caitlin Gibson covers Loudoun County for The Washington Post.
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