The 3-year-old daughter of two D.C. police officers and the 56-year-old woman who was babysitting with her were found slain last night in the woman's Northwest Washington home, D.C. police reported.
They said the bodies of Crystin Fletcher, the daughter of two 2nd District police officers, and Cora Barnes, who was keeping the child, were found about 6 p.m. in the bedroom of Barnes' home, 4321 Second St. NW, by a member of Barnes' family.
Police said the girl, the daughter of Cortez Fletcher Jr., 33, a 13-year member of the police department, and his wife Crystal Fletcher, 33, a patrol officer in the 2nd District and 10-year veteran, had laceration marks on her neck.
Barnes, they said, had been stabbed several times and had a laceration to the throat, but did not say what type of weapon may have been used. Barnes and the Fletcher girl were pronounced dead on the scene by the D.C. medical examiner, who will perform autopsies today, police said.
Effie Anderson, who lives at 4314 Second St. NW, said that she was interviewed by detectives assigned to the case who told her that "they think the motive was that her parents were police officers."
Police said no arrest had been made in connection with the slayings, and no motive had been established.
Deputy Chief Alfonso D. Gibson, head of the department's Criminal Investigations Division, said that the bodies of both victims were found in a second-floor bedroom, and that there was no visible sign of a struggle. He said there was no indication that the slayer had used force to enter the house.
Last night, more than a dozen D.C. police officers surrounded Barnes' home, a two-story, red and white brick house on a secluded tree-lined street north of the U.S. Soldiers'and Airmen's Home, interviewing neighbors and searching for evidence.
Dorthia Petty, Barnes' sister-in-law, said Barnes was a professional babysitter who had cared exclusively for Crystin five days a week for more than a year.
D.C. police officers are assigned to rotating shifts, and Petty said that Barnes adjusted her babysitting duties according to the Fletchers' schedules. Both of the Fletchers were on duty last night at the time the bodies were discovered.
Neighbors said that the Fletcher apparently left Crystin with Barnes about 2 p.m. yesterday.
Henrietta Thompson, who lived down the street from Barnes and had known her for 25 years, said she talked to Barnes yesterday morning and that Barnes said she had to care for Crystin that afternoon and evening.
"She was one of the nicest women I ever knew, one of the sweetest and softest," Thompson said of Barnes, whose husband died several years ago. "It's hard to believe this kind of thing could happen here."
Assistant D.C. Police Chief Isaac Fulwood said last night, "It is a great tragedy whenever anything like this occurs, especially when a child is involved. Our sympathy goes out to the Fletchers, and we'll do everything we can to help them get through these trying times."