A McLean man and woman were found dead yesterday inside their home after no one had seen them for several days, and Fairfax County police were calling their deaths suspicious.
A relative called police to the house in the 6900 block of Southridge Drive about 2:30 p.m. after being unable to reach the pair, according to Katie Hughes, a Fairfax officer. Police arrived to find the two-story brick colonial locked, she said, and firefighters were summoned to break in.
Both occupants had been dead for some time, Hughes said. Several days' worth of newspapers lay in the driveway as investigators moved around the property. Police said they would not be able to positively identify the bodies until autopsies are performed today.
According to county tax records, the house is owned by Joe M. and Jean M. Matz. Little could be learned about the two last night, and neighbors said they didn't know them well.
Investigators initially suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, so firefighters donned gas masks and protective gear before entering the residence. But a Doberman pinscher, alive but highly agitated, was found inside, ruling out carbon monoxide as a possible cause, Hughes said. Neighbors described the dog as often vicious; animal control officers were summoned to remove it.
Hughes would not elaborate on where the bodies were found, what injuries or wounds they suffered, or what indications of foul play police may have. One neighbor described seeing police carry two or three hunting rifles away from the house.
Through a first-floor window, a television set, apparently left running for days, could be seen near a bed.
Neighbors said the owners of the home appeared to be in their seventies and did not venture out often or talk with others. Though many nearby residents are newcomers to the community, real estate records indicate that the Matzes purchased their home in 1973. Computer databases list Joe Matz as 73 and Jean Matz as 70.
"The man looked like he was in terrible health. He didn't get out much," said Will Field, 15, a neighbor.
Said Sarah Kim, 14, who lives next door: "They were friendly, but they kept to themselves. The woman liked to garden, and she would bring tomatoes to our house."
Some neighbors said there were no obvious signs that anything was wrong at the house because the television and lights frequently were left on all night. "It didn't seem any different," said Dana Dembski, who lives across the street. "You always saw the [television] glow as you walked by."
The Southridge neighborhood, just off Westmoreland Street, is a few blocks from Broyhill Street, where a triple homicide occurred in May. In that incident, Fuad and Dorothy Taima and their teenage son, Leith, were found shot to death in their home. Police have not solved those killings. There was no indication last night that the two cases are related.