Female sea lion found dead at National Zoo

A 2-year-old sea lion named Sophie was found dead Friday morning at the bottom of her pool at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Zoo officials said in a statement that they were “sad to announce that our beloved sea lion” was dead. Keepers said her behavior was normal when they checked on her Thursday night.

Officials at the zoo said they “don’t yet know what caused [Sophie’s] death,” but that they expected to perform a necropsy Friday and to have results “in the coming weeks.”

Sea lions typically have a life span of 15 years to 20 years in the wild and can live 25 years to 30 years when in human care, according to zoo officials.

— Dana Hedgpeth

Assault suspect released from jail

A D.C. police officer arrested this week on accusations that he assaulted his girlfriend was ordered released from jail Friday by a D.C. Superior Court judge.

Calvin Willis, 52, who was escorted into court wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and shackles, was put on GPS monitoring and ordered not to have any contact with his 25-year-old girlfriend, who is pregnant and is the mother of his two other children.

Willis, of the Forestville section of Prince George’s County, was put on administrative leave from the police force, which he joined in 1985.

Willis, who is also married, was charged with kicking and slamming his girlfriend into a wall. Authorities also say that Willis, while in uniform, threatened to shoot his girlfriend.

— Keith L. Alexander

Former Metro contractor pleads guilty to theft

A former contractor for Metro pleaded guilty Friday to stealing about 30,000 pounds of copper designated for rail tracks and selling it to a scrap yard in Charles County, authorities said.

Metro officials began an investigation of James Mulcahey, 64, after the agency received an anonymous tip that copper was disappearing from a rail yard in Greenbelt, according to the Prince George’s County state’s attorney’s office.

After putting Mulcahey under surveillance, Metro investigators watched him sell copper several times, authorities said. He was arrested in November. Officials say they believe Mulcahey made $88,000 from selling stolen copper between March 2011 and November 2013.

Mulcahey’s sentencing is set for July 31.

— Lynh Bui