The wife of a Washington lawyer found fatally stabbed in a Thomas Circle hotel room in February pleaded with the public Wednesday to help find the person who killed him.
Standing in front of D.C. police headquarters, Kim Vuong, wife of David Messerschmitt, 30, said she is still looking for answers in the Feb. 10 slaying.
“I know there are people out there who could bring justice to David and me, to our families and friends, and to everyone in Washington who deserves to live in safety,” said Vuong, who was joined by other relatives of Messerschmitt.
Messerschmitt’s body was found at the Donovan, in the 1100 block of 14th Street NW. The hotel is about a mile from DLA Piper, the international law firm where Messerschmitt worked. Police say they do not know why Messerschmitt was at the hotel or why he was killed.
Lt. Anthony Haythe, who spoke after Vuong left, described the case as “active” and said detectives were looking at various Internet apps as part of their investigation, but he declined to provide specifics.
A police search-warrant affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court says that police called the hotel to find out whether Messerschmitt was a guest there. Hotel management found his body when they used a master key to enter Room 400, according to the affidavit. It is unclear why police had called the hotel.
Police were called to the hotel about 11 a.m. Feb. 10 and found Messerschmitt dead in his fourth-floor room, having suffered multiple stab wounds.
Authorities released a photo and video of someone they described as a person of interest; the images were recorded inside the hotel about 7:45 the night before the body was found. The photo and video show a person in a hooded black jacket walking near a hotel baggage cart. Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Although D.C. police would not offer additional details, homicide detectives did confirm that the person seen in the hotel security video was female and that she is a person of interest.
Vuong had reported her husband missing about 24 hours before he was found dead.
The couple lived in an apartment near Stanton Park in Capitol Hill.
During Vuong’s news conference, about 10 minutes long, neither she nor Messerschmitt’s family took questions from the media.
Vuong, who at times became emotionally overwhelmed and had to be consoled by family, asked the public to review the hotel surveillance video closely and contact police with any information.
“The world has lost a good person. David’s family, a son and brother, and I have lost everything: my husband and my best friend. In one day, I lost the most important person in my life and the man I loved so much. And I have no answers,” she said. “Please help us heal. Give us all peace.”
Julie Zauzmer contributed to this report.