Two years later, Arlington double murder still a mystery

Friends and family of Keefe Spriggs and Carl Moten gathered at Arlington’s High View park Wednesday night for the third vigil marking a double homicide that remains unsolved.

The first gathering occurred a week after Spriggs, 59, and Moten, 31, were found murdered in a nearby apartment on N. Culpeper Street. The second was held a year later.

This week, residents of the Hall Hill neighborhood came together again for what they hoped would be the last time.

“I just pray that something comes through,” said Moten’s wife, Christina Saunders. Like many at the vigil she wore a shirt commemorating the dead men. Hers said, “I Miss You Stink,” the nickname she and her husband used for each other. “Rest in Paradise,” read a banner carried down the street from the scene of the murder to the park.

Moten, whom friends called “Pooh Bear,” was staying with Spriggs, known as “Kee Kee,” in the apartment where their bodies were found by a maintenance man. Police said at the time that detectives did not find a weapon in the apartment, and there were no obvious signs of robbery in the home.

Spriggs’ son, Keefe Spriggs Jr., said in the past two years family have heard nothing new from police about the investigation but added, “anything is possible.”

He described his father as “a great guy, a free spirit — he just enjoyed life, whatever was thrown at him.”

The Spriggs and Moten families had long ties to the close-knit community that began as a home for freed slaves after the Civil War.

The murders were two of five in the county in 2012, between two years when not a single homicide occurred.

Members of the Arlington police were at the vigil asking anyone with information to come forward. “We will do everything in our power,” detective Rosa Ortiz said.

She is taking responsibility for the investigation over from Sgt. Paula Brockenborough, who said it took some time for people in the community to feel comfortable talking to police. Although it’s no longer her case, she said, “I have a relationship now with these families. We will see it through.”

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Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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