Woman, 72, Found Slain in Springfield Home

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A 72-year-old Fairfax County woman was found dead inside her home Monday evening, and after an autopsy was performed yesterday, police declared she had been slain.

Marion B. Marshall lived alone in a modest three-bedroom house in the Springfield area of the county, police said. A friend discovered her body about 6:10 p.m. Monday, police said, adding that foul play was not immediately apparent to officers.

But an autopsy by the state medical examiner's office found that Marshall had died from trauma, Fairfax Lt. Richard Perez said. He declined to be more specific.

"She was very mild, a very quiet lady, very proper lady," said Logan Caterall, a longtime neighbor. "Very nice to talk to, very helpful to the neighbors. Always coming over to see if you needed anything." He said she had a number of friends and often went out to restaurants.

Her slaying was the seventh homicide in Fairfax this year, police said.

Marshall was last seen about 11:30 a.m. Monday, Perez said. He said there were no signs of forced entry into her house, in the 6600 block of Bostwick Drive, just south of Braddock Road near Backlick Road, and police were trying to determine whether Marshall had been robbed.

Investigators, who had no immediate suspects, appealed to the public for witnesses. They said Marshall had no obvious enemies.

Marshall bought the house in 1988, according to county land records. She had lived there ever since, Caterall said.

Marshall never married and had no children, Caterall said. She was originally from Illinois and had no family in this area, he said.

Marshall was retired from a job with the federal government, Caterall said, and was often seen walking around the neighborhood. She had undergone hip replacement surgery recently and was "not really an outside person," employing a yard service and a cleaning service to handle the heavy chores around the property, Caterall said.

Marshall was a devoted reader, Caterall said, and devoured novels constantly. "We traded books all the time," he said, adding that Marshall did not like flashy books such as "The Da Vinci Code." "She liked quiet novels," Caterall said.

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