Missing Montgomery artist's body is found in the District

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 21, 2010; B06

A 45-year-old artist missing from Montgomery County was found dead in the District, police said Tuesday, as detectives investigated whether she was killed in a studio near White Flint mall.

Detectives said a suspect was in custody Tuesday night. They did not release his name. They said he knew the victim.

Azin Naimi was reported missing to police early Monday, according to officials and her mother, Mary Bazargan. Later that day, District police found a body identified as Naimi's in the 300 block of Farragut Street NW.

Bazargan said that her daughter had been staying with her in her North Bethesda home for about 18 months and that it was unlike Naimi not to come home. Bazargan said her daughter had a place within walking distance where she could work.

Law enforcement sources said the place was a studio area, on Nebel Street, that could turn out to be the crime scene.

Police would not say where the victim was killed or how she died.

Bazargan said her daughter was fluent in several languages, studied history through art, and was a painter and a restoration artist. She said she and her daughter were both born in Iran.

"She loved the U.S.," Bazargan said.

She said her daughter took an interest in homeless people near their home, bringing them food and blankets.

If the killing occurred in Montgomery, it would be at least the 12th in the county this year and the fourth in the past 11 days. Montgomery had 13 killings for all of 2009, and 21 in 2008, according to police statistics.

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