Police recovered hairs that seemed to be clenched in the hands of the woman found slain in her Arlington home earlier this month, and they have sent them away for DNA testing to determine to whom they might belong, according to a police spokesman and a search warrant in the case.
The hairs found in the hands of 42-year-old Bonnie Black could be a significant “starting point” in the investigation into her death, police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said, but investigators have also seized a myriad of other items from both her home and the nearby home of her estranged husband.
A search warrant in the case made public Monday shows that authorities have searched the husband’s home on 21st Street top to bottom since Black was found dead in an upstairs bedroom of her home on 18th Street South on April 17. The warrant also reveals new details, including that Black had a wound to the neck “consistent with a bladed or cutting instrument,” and that her children — who were found wandering outside before officers found Black’s body — told the passerby who spotted them and called 911 that their mom was dead.
Black’s husband showed up to the scene of that crime shortly after police, and by the search warrant’s account, it is unclear why. Sternbeck, who previously said the husband had apparently been tipped something was amiss by a neighbor, said investigators questioned the man, and he was cooperative.
Police nonetheless seem to be aggressively probing previous allegations from Black that her husband was threatening and had been violent in the past. In applying for a warrant to search the husband’s home, a detective noted Black and her husband were going through a divorce, that Black had previously gotten a protective order against her husband, and that Black had confided in a colleague about her fears about her husband shortly before she was killed.
Investigators recovered a list of items from the husband’s home, including a Swiss Army knife, a nonviolent communication book, computers, a thumb drive, tooth and hair brushes, shoes and boots, work gloves, receipts and other records and materials. The Washington Post is not naming the man because he has not been charged with any crimes in connection with the slaying. Reached by phone, he declined to comment.