“We don’t know who the person was after because my daughter’s lifestyle don’t warrant any kind of activity that would be suspect,” said Irma Gaither, Stanley’s mother. “That’s what’s so crazy about this.”
By all accounts, Stanley was a bright teenager who stayed out of trouble. A senior at Charles H. Flowers High School, she dreamed of studying genetics at Harvard University, friends and family said. In her free time, she worked as a model, impressing those much older than her with her mature runway walk and vivacious smile.
“When I saw her walk, I was like: ‘Wow. For a 17-year-old, this is really amazing,’ ” said Paul Cherry, 23, who modeled with Stanley and came to her viewing Friday. “I said, ‘This girl is going places.’ ”
Stanley was in her bedroom — probably organizing the school supplies that family members had bought that day — when the intruder came into her home on Chartsey Street just before 10:30 p.m. Aug. 22, Gaither and police said. Gaither had just run out to get a few more supplies, she said, but Stanley’s 37-year-old half sister and the woman’s 4-year-old son were home, along with a 17-year-old foster girl the family had been taking care of since January.
Gaither said Stanley’s half sister was doing laundry when she heard gunshots and ran upstairs. The half sister screamed as she saw the intruder back out of Stanley’s room but did not get a good look because she ran immediately to protect her son, Gaither said.
The half sister declined to talk to a reporter, and Gaither declined to identify her to protect her safety. Stanley’s half sister, her son and the foster girl eventually escaped out a window and ran to a neighbor’s house to call police, Gaither said.
Gaither said that the intruder did not speak to or fire at Stanley’s half sister. She said she wonders whether the attacker might have meant to target the foster girl, who has a troubled past and only the week before had reported to police that she was attacked while walking home from a store.
Law enforcement officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they could be disciplined for publicly discussing the ongoing investigation, said police are exploring that as one possible theory. The officials said police determined the girl’s attack report from the week before was “unfounded.”
Prince George’s Homicide Capt. Joseph Hoffman said detectives have been working on the case “nonstop” and hoped those with information might come forward.