Alexandria police searched on foot and with Honda trail bikes in the woods of western Alexandria again yesterday, trying to find clues to the deaths this past week of two young Alexandria women and the disappearance of a third young woman missing for more than a month.
Alexandria Police Capt. Clyde Scott said police "searched everything" in the Landmark section near where the car of Aletha Byrd, the missing woman, was discovered Thursday in a parking lot near Interstate Rte 1-95.
Byrd and the two dead women. Jeanette M. McClelland and Gladys Bradley, all lived in the same apartment complex. Holmes Run Park, located on N. Morgan Street.
Scott said that for future searches he will try to borrow infrared equipment that can easily detect a warm decomposing body.
The body of Bradley, 27, a post office employee, was found last weekend in the creek behind the Hamlet North apartment complex, less than a mile from where McClelland's body was found Thursday afternoon in a culvert. But police said they have found nothing concrete to link the deaths and Byrd's disappearance, although they are searching for some connection.
McClelland apparently was stabbed to death, and Bradley may have drowned, police said. They are awaiting a more complete lab report on Bradley's death.
McClelland, 24, was a proofreader for a printing firm. She and Byrd lived in the same apartment building at 5445 N. Morgan St. Bradley lived nearby at 5420 N. Morgan st.
Her next door neighbor. Timothy Wyngaard, said; "She was a friendly person who always greeted me on the elevator." He said he never really talked at length to her, but that she "seemed like a nice person."
Police were able to discover the victim's identity through her fingerprints late Friday, but did not release her identity until yesterday after her next of kin was notified.
Byrd lived in a fifth-floor apartment. Sidney Smith, a Marriott management trainee who said he shared the apartment with Byrd, said the last time he saw her was April 1, at ther job at the Tysons Corner Woodward & Lothrop store.
He described Byrd, whom he has known for six years, as "aggressive, and so damn liberated - a tigress." She liked dining out, music, art, conversing with interesting people, and she loved cats, he said, pointing to the two mixed breed cats sitting on the couch in their colorful apartment.
Byrd, who he said turned 34 April 15, wanted to be a personnel executive. She attended two years at the University of Virginia in Richmond, he said, and she has an 11-year-old daughter, Devena, who lives in Fredericksburg with relatives.
Smith, a soft-spoken articulate man, said he didn't think that something bad might have happened to Byrd until Easter Sunday, when he discovered she had not shown up as expected at her parent's home in Spotsylvania County.
Gladys Bradley's funeral was held yesterday in Emporia. Va., according to her coworkers. Harry Burney of Oxon Hill, who worked in a Distrcit post office with Bradley for two years, said she was a "nice, loveable person" who seemed to be quiet.
The only thing he remembered her talking about a car she recently bought, he said, Bradley seemed to enjoy her work and attended church regularly, he said. Bradly had a 7-year-old daughter.