Mary Lee East, 47, bowed her head yesterday and repeated the phrases over and over, hoping they would comfort her and the group of teenagers gathered in the back room of her Kensington home. "She didn't deserve to die like this," East said. "Her death was so uncalled for."
East's 16-year-old daughter, Lisa Michelle, was found stabbed to death Wednesday night in a shower stall in a Rockville house the girl shared with a boyfriend. Yesterday, Montgomery County police obtained a fugitive warrant for George B. Neher, 20, charging him with the slaying.
Mary East said Neher was a family friend who lived four blocks away. Police said Lisa East, the youngest of Mary East's three daughters, was stabbed several times.
"We knew George since he was 12 years old," East said. "They went to school together. He and bunch of other kids would come over here, play cards, talk and have rap sessions about their problems."
East dropped out of Albert Einstein High School in Kensington last year because of poor attendance, friends and former classmates said. But the fun-loving, ambitious teenager worked two jobs. She had been promoted from file clerk to administrative assistant at Hodge Hart & Associates, a Kensington insurance firm. Two months ago, East took a part-time job at a Pizza Hut on Connecticut Avenue.
Friends said Neher, an auto parts clerk at Loffler-Crummit in Kensington, had a crush on East. "She was his first girlfriend," said Kristen Walker, 18.
Carole Thornhill, 17, said East decided about two months ago to share a $500-a-month room with Neher in a house in the 5000 block of McCall Street in Rockville.
A week ago, Walker said, East told Neher she wanted to end their relationship. "She was not happy with George," Walker said. "She wanted to come back home."
Mary East said she became concerned about her daughter's whereabouts Wednesday when a supervisor told her Lisa had not reported to work.
About 6:30 p.m., East said she and her 19-year-old daughter, Angela, went to Lisa's house.
"I just had a feeling," East said, recalling her uneasiness as she entered the house through an unlocked side patio door. "It just didn't seem right."
East said she heard a radio playing softly in her daughter's upstairs bedroom, but the door was locked and no one answered her calls. As she entered the living room, East said, she shouted, "Oh, my God."
"There was blood all over the couch," she said. "The table had smatterings of blood on it. The white shag carpet had stains in it, like someone had tried to wipe it out."
East said she called police, who found the body slumped over in the shower. Lisa was last seen alive sleeping on a downstairs couch by another tenant in the house, police said.
"It's been a nightmare ever since," East said. "I keep waiting for her to come through the door. She was going to get her diploma. She had plans for the future. She didn't deserve this."