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Public Help Sought In Slaying Of Woman

By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 12, 2007

D.C. police sought the public's help yesterday in solving the slaying of an Adams Morgan woman who was stabbed this week.

Venezuela native Gabriela Jose Lopez, 29, was discovered Tuesday night in the bathtub of her apartment in the 1900 block of Columbia Road, police said. Detectives believe she knew her attacker and that the killing may have been domestic in nature, said Capt. C.V. Morris, head of the department's Violent Crimes Branch.

"It looks like a crime of passion," Morris said. "Stabbings usually are."

There were no signs of forced entry into her seventh-floor apartment and nothing was stolen, authorities said. The apartment building, Gelmarc Towers, is in the heart of the Adams Morgan entertainment district.

Police believe Lopez had been dead at least a day when they discovered her.

For the past four years, Lopez worked as a paralegal at an immigration law firm in Arlington. Her family lives in Venezuela.

Manuel Rivera, her employer, said yesterday that Lopez was a smart, professional woman who generally kept to herself.

"She was kind of reserved, kind of private," Rivera said. "You had to ask questions to find out things about her."

He said one of the few things he knew about her personal life is that she liked to take tango lessons.

Police were alerted to Lopez's death by a co-worker who went to visit her after she had not been to work for two days or answered her phone. The co-worker found Lopez's apartment door unlocked, saw the body and then flagged down a police officer, police said.

Morris said detectives have interviewed several people but were not close to an arrest.

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