A knife-wielding man abducted a Northwest Washington woman and her 12-year-old daughter from an apartment building parking lot early yesterday, forced the woman to drive to Anacostia, then beat and stabbed the woman to death, D.C. homicide detectives said.
The assailant then locked the girl in the trunk of her mother's car, drove back across town, and abandoned the car in the 1300 block of Sixth Street NW, one block from where the pair was abducted, police said the girl told them.
About 6:30 yesterday morning, a passerby found the nude body of Shirley Person, 28, of Northwest Washington, lying in an open field enclosed by woods near the corner of 22nd Street and T Place SE, police said.
She was pronounced dead on the scene. Police said they could not determine whether she had been sexually assaulted pending further tests by the D.C. medical examiner.
Police said the daughter was discovered at 5 a.m. yesterday by a passerby who heard her crying for help, and freed her from the car trunk. Police declined to say whether the girl was harmed.
Homicide officials said that the woman and her daughter were on their way home when the abduction took place.
Police said they have no suspect in the killing.
A medical examiner ruled yesterday that Person, who worked at Howard University, died from loss of blood.
Yesterday's homicide follows several other unsolved crimes against women that have been reported recently in the same general area of Anacostia where the woman's body was found. However, police said that there is no evidence to link yesterday's slaying to any of the other crimes.
Police have attributed at least 15 rapes in that area to the so-called "bus stop rapist," a gunman who approaches women at or near bus stops in the predawn hours, forces them into wooded areas at gunpoint and attacks them.
Last week, a 12-year-old girl was raped at gunpoint in the washroom of an elementary school in the same general area of Southeast. Police are seeking suspects in all these incidents.
"This is just a quiet, congenial neighborhood," said Bobby DeVault, who lives in the 2300 block of U Street SE, two blocks from the field where the slain woman was found yesterday. "We hear about a lot of crime happening about a mile from here, but we're rarely affected by it." DeVault is a retired civil engineer and a former president of the Anacostia Citizens Association.
"We've been so concerned recently," his wife Louise said. "We don't know if it's all connected. But, oh, God, I get these feelings now and then that they are. We don't know who it is or how many there are."