The address of Mary Jeanette Countiss, who police said was stabbed to death, was reported incorrectly Thursday. The correct address is 2337 Skyland Pl. SE.
D.C. police charged an unemployed 19-year-old Southeast Washington man yesterday with homicide in the death of his mother. Police said the victim was stabbed repeatedly and that her bedroom was set afire.
Police charged Charles Antonio Countiss, 19, in connection with the death of his mother, Mary Jeanette Countiss, 40, an employe with the Library of Congress, at their apartment at 2331 Skyland Place SE. Neighbors said the two had been arguing earlier yesterday morning, police said.
The D.C. medical examiner's office said the woman died of multiple stab wounds. Police alleged that the fire was set to cover up the cause of the woman's death.
The incident started shortly before 5 a.m. yesterday, when firefighters responded to call at the apartment. They found a woman's body in the bedroom, and called arson and homicide investigators. The fire damage was confined to the bedroom, officials said.
The younger Countiss was outside the apartment building when firefighters arrived, police said. Detectives questioned him throughout the morning and charged him with homicide shortly after noon.
The dead woman had worked for 12 years in the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Disabled, working as a liaison between the library and the hundreds of private companies that manufacture recorded material for the blind.
"It came as a shock to us, and we certainly will miss her," said Frank Cylke, director of the national library service. "She was one of our highly respected, very productive workers."
The day before she was killed, the Library of Congress gave Countiss a citation for outstanding work for 1982, Cylke said.