A 19-year-old youth who was being questioned in connection with the slayings of four Northern Virginia women in the past year has been cleared, Fairfax and Alexandria police reported yesterday.
Police said they have interviewed several possible suspects in connection with the murders, but no one has been charged.
"We've been talking with people everyday," said Sgt. Archie Hall, an Alexandria police spokesman. Hall said that in addition to the possible suspects, police have interviewed residents of the western part of Alexandria where three of the victims lived as well as relatives and acquaintances of the women.
Hall said he has "no idea" of the number of persons who have been interviewed in connection with the deaths of Gladys R. Bradley, 27, and Jeanette McClelland, 24, both of who lived in the Holmes Run Park apartment complex in Alexandria, and Aura Marina Gabor, 24, who lived a short distance away. In addition police are investigating the disappearance of a fourth woman, Aletha Byrd, 34, another Holmes Run Park resident, who has been missing since early April.
The 19-year-old youth interviewed on Friday was detained by Fairfax County police for questioning in connection with the murder of a Fairfax County woman last March. Authorities now believe that this slaying may be connected to the Alexandria deaths.
Investivator Colin A. Kozloff said the 19-year-old youth was interrogated about the death of Ursula A. Miltenberger, 22, of Springfield, whose battered body was found near Burke in southern Fairfax County on March 6. However, Kozloff said police had insufficient evidence to connect him to the Miltenberger murder, and he was also cleared of involvement in the Alexandria cases.
Kozloff said police have interviewed five possible suspects in connection with the Fairfax death, but no charges have been placed.
Investigators have cited similarities between circumstances surrounding the deaths of the three Alexandria women and the Miltenberger death.
Miltenberger was a management trainee at a McDonald's restaurant in the Lincolnia section of Fairfax not far from the Landmark section of Alexandria where the other three lived.
"It's a possibility in the location," Hall said yesterday of the link between the deaths.
Other similiarities include the fact that all four women were last seen alive in the early morning hours and that the victim's bodies were found fully clothed.
The bodies of the three Alexandria women were all found in or near creeks in the western part of the city.
The body of Bradley, of 5420 N. Morgan St., was found lying in a creek in a wooded area behind a nearby apartment complex. Preliminary autopsy reports show that she drowned, police said.
Five days later, the body of McClelland, was found in a culvert near where Bradley's body was discovered. McClelland lived at 5445 N. Morgan St., a short distance from Bradley's apartment building in the Holmes Run Park apartment complex.
Last August, Gabor, who lived in the same general area, was found strangled within a mile of where the two bodies were discovered.
The fourth woman, Aletha Byrd, who lived in McClelland's apartment building, has been missing since early April and is presumed by the police to have been murdered.
Byrd's two-tone Dodge Aspen was found 10 days ago within a mile of the spots where the bodies of the other Alexandria women were discovered.
Police said an analysis of the debris recovered from the outside of Byrd's car shows the car had probably last been driven in an area in which the driver's side passed through water while th passenger side of the car passed over wet ground.
Investigators say they hope to hear from outdoor enthusiasts who might have noticed Byrd's car while on a side road, or in a park or low lying area.