A Springfield woman, stabbed and burned, was found dead in the bedroom of her spilt-level home yesterday by firemen responding to smoke coming from home, Fairfax County police said.
Identification of the dead woman was being withheld pending the notification of her teen-age daughter, who was reported to be returning home from a trip to Florida.
The woman, described as in her 30s, was dead by the time firemen arrived and had first and second degree burns on her head, arms, hands and feet according to police. She had also been stabbed at least once, according to sources close to the investigation.
Police officials refused to say whether there was any sign of other injury, a struggle or robbery, or what the cause of the fire might have been. They described damage to the bedroom as extensive, with smoke and water damage throughout the lower floor of the four-bedroom home at 5406 Moultrie Rd.
One neighbor, who described the Ravensworth area as "a quiet neighborhood of brick and frame homes in the $60,000 to $70,000 range," said she saw the woman return at about 10:30 a.m. and that someone let her in the front door.
Other neighbors said the woman's husband and four children were not home at the time, and that the family normally did not lock its doors.
A neighbor who saw smoke coming from the home about 11 a.m. called the home, and upon receiving no answer, called firemen. The firemen had to break down the door to enter, and they later talked about smelling gasoline in the bedroom, according to neighbors.
The woman had taken her 8-year-old daughter to Ravensworth Elementary School earlier in the morning, neighbors said.
Others in the neighborhood said the dead woman's husband, a construction worker, had his wallet and keys stolen Thursday night while playing basketball at nearby Wakefield Park. The wallet was later found at the park, stripped of money.
The couple's children include a daughter, 18, who graduated last year from Annandale High School; a daughter, 16, who is a senior at the high school; a son, 12, who attends Poe Intermediate School, and the 8-year-old daughter at Ravensworth Elementary.
According to a neighbor, the dead woman had said she planned to play bridge yesterday afternoon.