Detective Charged in Wife's Death

Loudoun Man Called 911 Days After Shooting

A detective with the U.S. Marshals Service was charged with murder in the shooting of his wife, hours after her body was found Wednesday in an upstairs bedroom of their Loudoun County home.

John Ludwig, 51, a 17-year member of the Marshals Service, drank heavily, medicated himself and waited nearly two days before he called authorities to report his wife's death, according to court papers and a law enforcement source. Ludwig was charged with the first-degree murder of Karen M. Ludwig, 38. Authorities said several shots were fired; they declined to give a motive for the slaying.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in court, Ludwig called 911 at 8:38 a.m. Wednesday and said: "I just shot my wife. . . . She's dead."

He was taken into custody minutes later when authorities arrived at the Ashburn home. He is being held without bond at the Loudoun jail.

Female Firefighters Allege Sex Bias

Fairfax County Sued Over Hiring and Housing

A group of female Fairfax County firefighters is suing the county alleging that a pattern of gender bias in hiring, promotion and housing in the fire department has left them with "second-class status" compared with male counterparts.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria by five firefighters and the Fairfax County Women Firefighters' Association, says facilities for women are so inferior that the women's shower in one firehouse is a converted urinal. Other female firefighters bunk in a converted closet that lacked heat for five years, the lawsuit says.

The plaintiffs said they repeatedly are subjected to sexually harassing comments and attitudes. In one incident, the suit alleges, a male firefighter slapped a female employee across the face with a piece of ham and made a sexually graphic remark.

Officer Investigated in Deer Death

Injured Animal Allegedly Shot, Suffocated

An Arlington police officer is under internal investigation for his handling of an incident involving an injured deer.

According to authorities, the deer was injured when it jumped over a guardrail on Interstate 66 and plunged 30 feet to the road below. The animal was suffering, so the Arlington County police officer shot it in the head, authorities said. The deer was still alive, so the animal was run over by a cruiser, then a bag was placed over its head, and it suffocated, they said.

The sergeant, whose name was withheld by authorities, faces administrative sanctions for the methods he chose June 18 when trying to destroy the deer, said Matt Martin, a police spokesman. The officer is not on administrative leave, and his duties have not been redefined, but the department wants to examine its policy on injured animals.

Boy, 14, Charged in Laundromat Death

Half Sister Was Trapped in Washing Machine

A 14-year-old boy was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his 5-year-old half sister, who was killed last month in southwest Virginia after becoming trapped inside a commercial washing machine.

The boy, whose name was not released by police because he is a minor, was charged as a juvenile for his role in the June 17 death of Rebecca "Hope" Wagoner.

Police in Chilhowie, Va., have said Hope was alone with her half brother in the Village Laundry when she became trapped inside a heavy-load washer. Hope's mother, Rebecca Billings Wagoner, told police that she had taken the children to the laundromat to use a pay phone and stepped outside, leaving them unattended. She returned to discover her daughter tumbling inside the water-filled machine.

Less Litter: A worker cleans the World War II Memorial the day after Fourth of July festivities. The 45-ton trash haul from the Mall was less than in years past.