The press secretary to U.S. Sen. Daniel J. Evans (R-Wash.) was found stabbed to death yesterday in her condominium six blocks from Evans' Capitol Hill office, D.C. police said.
The body of Sally S. Heet, 35, was found about 10:30 a.m. in her blood-stained apartment at 520 E St. NE by her stepbrother and a colleague, who went looking for her after she failed to join Evans and a reporter for an 8 a.m. breakfast interview, according to the senator.
D.C. police said Heet apparently died of multiple stab wounds, but refused to say exactly where the body was found or whether a weapon had been located. Police said they have no suspects or motive. An autopsy will be conducted today to determine the time and exact cause of death.
Yesterday afternoon, the door to Heet's apartment stood open as District police searched the apartment for clues. The door jamb, about five feet above the floor, was streaked with bloody finger marks.
According to Evans, Heet, who was single and lived alone, left his office about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. "We know she arrived at the building because her car is still parked out front," Evans said. "But her mailbox was found open with the mail still inside. It looks like someone met up with her at that point."
Evans said Heet came to work for him as part of his transition team in September 1983 when he was appointed after the death of Sen. Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson (D-Wash.). He said Heet moved to the E Street address at that time.
The condominium, known as the Dorset, was renovated about five years ago. The front door is kept locked and visitors must telephone from the door for admittance.
Marian Friedman, who lives above Heet's apartment, said she heard no unusual noises Wednesday night.
"We haven't had many problems here," she said. "Someone was mugged in the lobby a couple of months ago."
Friedman, who works as an information guide at the Smithsonian Institution, said the four-story building has neither a superintendent nor an elevator operator. She also said that most of the residents of the Dorset work on Capitol Hill.
Lisa Riggles, a 29-year-old artist who lives a half-block away from the Dorset on the 600 block of Acker Street NE, said her street had been plagued by crime, including a slaying, burglary and a stabbing since February.
"We've decided to move to a nicer neighborhood on the other side of the Hill," she said as she walked her two large dogs near Heet's building.
Heet, a native of Indiana, moved to Seattle in 1970 to attend the University of Washington, where she received a bachelor's degree in communications. Before joining Evans' staff, Heet was vice president and manager of corporate communications of the Rainier National Bank in Seattle.
"She was a close friend and a confidant," Evans told reporters, who gathered in his office several hours after Heet's body was found. "She was a very self-possessed, independent and competent woman. We will miss her forever."
One of the reporters attending Evans' news conference was Eric Payne of The Seattle Times, who said he knew Heet well.
"We had lunch just yesterday," he said. "She was very good at what she did. She did not have a background in journalism, but she knew how to handle reporters. Sally was very popular with all the press corps from the Northwest papers."