Arrest Made in Murder of Rosslyn Resident

by ARLnow.com March 21, 2011 at 8:30 am 5,686 48 Comments

An arrest has been made in the murder of Jayna Murray, the Rosslyn resident found dead in a Bethesda yoga store last Saturday.

Charging documents say Murray’s Lululemon store coworker, 28-year-old Brittany Norwood, stabbed and beat her to death, then tried to cover up the crime. Norwood, who was found tied up in a bathroom, initially told detectives that two men wearing gloves and masks forced their way into the store and assaulted them. Norwood was arrested on Friday and charged with first degree murder after police found evidence that allegedly conflicted with Norwood’s story.

Norwood was a standout soccer player at Decatur High School, near Seattle, and at Stony Brook University in New York. The Washington Post reports that Montgomery County authorities are investigating whether Murray may have been killed after Norwood was accused of stealing merchandise.

Updated on 3/22/11 — ABC7 is reporting that Norwood may have been suspected of stealing from another Lululemon store before being transferred to the Bethesda store.

  • Jezebel

    The heartache continues and deepens.

  • Ben


  • OX4

    Seriously disturbing.

  • Steve

    Arlnow should stay open for business on weekends, this story is basically really old now, though this result was not shocking, it was rather obvious because the police never released the “survivor’s” story, which means they never bought it from the beginning, along with the accounts of hearing women arguing by apple store employees.. The police knew it was an inside job from the beginning.

    • Scott will sometimes post on the weekend.

      • Right. I’ll post breaking news stories on weekends. Otherwise everything else waits until Monday morning. If you know any good writers/reporters willing to work for free on weekends, let them know we’re accepting applications for a weekend editor position.

        • anotherlocal

          Great response. Sounded to me like Steve was volunteering 😉

  • This chick is clearly mental.

    • Steve

      Not the right kind of mental to not be held responsible for what she dead. She showed a lot of deliberation, waiting even for hours to make it look like she had been tied up.

      Can’t wait for the trial though, I cannot wait for the cops to admit they knew immediately they highly doubted the story, but still had to presume it was true because she said rape. The police will not presume a crime happened if they have strong evidence to the contrary, except for rape. And tha tscared the heck out of the entire community.

      • local

        They may have known or suspected her story was a lie, but didn’t say otherwise because they had to gather evidence, and keep the suspect talking.

        • Steve

          The thing is is if they think the story is bull, like obviously made up, they don’t tell the community that “a madman is on the lose” if she had alleged that an axe murderer had did it. For the mere fact she alleged rape, no matter what the police suspected, they HAD to operate as if it was true, which doesn’t happen with any other crime. So they scared the heck out of the entire community, thinking that there were rapists on the lose, spike in buying of pepper spray etc, all while the cops were pretty sure there had been no rape at all.

          • local

            I don’t think the police held information from the public any longer than they needed to. They told us what they knew first, and then they told us the real story as soon as they had enough evidence to arrest the suspect. What, you want them to announce publicly that they are trying to get a suspect to admit she’s lying while she’s still being interrogated? We survived a few days of fear.

          • Steve

            No, they just shouldn’t have released the “two rapists on the lose” thing when they highly doubted they even existed. The police were immediately suspicious of her story, hence why they never released details of her story. You’d think if the police were actually looking for two suspects, any information she might have had would have been very valuable. Virtually nothing was released other than ski mask, and 6 feet tall and 5’3. In short, the cops knew it wasn’t true, and had it been any other crime, that they knew wasn’t true, they wouldn’t have released that info, but because it was rape, they HAD to.

          • local

            The bottom line is that you just don’t know exactly when the police suspected or knew anything, so you aren’t in a position to second-guess them.

            As for releasing nothing more than height, weight, and ski mask–that’s all they had!

          • Take it down a notch

            So you are advocating that police assume rape claims are lies??

          • Steve

            No, that’s not what I’m suggesting. I’m just saying that when they know a rape didn’t happen, or they are highly sure it didn’t happen, that they don’t operate on the presumption that it happened. Otherwise, everything as normal.

            I mean, imagine the situation, you have a female burglar, breaks into the house, and then gets caught by the owner, who calls the cops. All she had to do is allege he raped her, and the police have to presume its true. If hte cops come there, see no evidence of any rape, they would still have to arrest him, even though he stopped her burglarizing his house, simply because she said rape.

            That’s why this woman in this situation was not immediately arrested, and why they released the information about the suspects, becaues they had to because she alleged rape, and the cops knew it wasn’t true. Had she not alleged it, they wouldn’t have even said anything about two suspects.

            This is only in the case where the police don’t think a rape happened. not if there is no evidence one way or the other.

          • SB

            Well what else would the police say? Don’t you think people would demand some answers when it was announced there was a murder? If we’re going along the line of they didn’t want to let the suspect know they were on to her, they still had to say something. And if they didn’t release her description of the “suspects” then she would realize they were on to her too.

            Bottom line is the people demand answers. Even if they hadn’t said rape, people would have been freaking out over the murder.

          • local

            I don’t think Steve’s saying that either, nor would I. The police shouldn’t assume anything – they should follow evidence. (Alleged) victims saying they were raped is evidence, but not always the only evidence. Ultimately, it’s up to a jury to decide whether a rape claim is true or not if it gets that far.

          • Steve

            The police will reveal during the trial that at no point did they believe her story. They will basically have to say they were certain no rape took place, but still operated as if it did.

            If they didn’t believe her if she had claimed they had a machine gun, the police aren’t going to go looking for a machine gun that doesn’t exist. They aren’t going to scare the community by saying a guy with a machine gun is out there when they know it’s not true.

          • local


            You have no friggin’ idea what the police will reveal during the trial. You’re reaching wildly. You don’t know what they knew or suspected, or when.

          • Steve

            So little details yet they had a surviving witness there? That’s why they didn’t release her story, any details other than the absolutely minimum, becaues the police never believed it in the first place.

            i thought what little they told was incredibly fishy. I didn’t think she did it, but I thought she was an insider on it.

            The fact the police revealed so little was proof they didn’t believe her story from the beginning, otherwise they would have wanted the most info as possible to be revealed so that people could use it to help find the suspects.

          • local


            I repeat – you don’t know what the police knew or suspected. You can’t read their minds.

            What other details could they have released? They didn’t have any, because this alleged victim probably didn’t give many because she was making it all up.

            Bottom line is – you’re just assuming wildly.

          • Sean

            @Steve: I think you would have found the interview on WJFK this morning very interesting. I only caught half of it, but the Junkies were interviewing the chief of police for Montgomery County. He answered a lot of your questions.

            Regarding why the police originally went public with the false story, they DID NOT know at first that the story was fake. In fact, they have video surveillance showing 2 guys walking around the back of the store around the time of the crime. They also received tons of calls with leads on the two suspects. Of course, we now know that the guys in the video were just 2 random guys, unlinked to the crime, and the phone leads were not helpful, but the police did have to investigate the “2 guys” story before they could claim it was false. And don’t forget, they are obligated to warn the public if there is any reasonable possibility that such extremely dangerous folks could be lurking.

            The audio from that interview can be found here:


            Scroll down to “MoCo Police Chief Manger”. The interview still leaves more questions than answers, but it does fill in some details missing from the news.

  • John

    Steve: YOu have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Steve

      So my hunch that she was lying from the beginning, based upon how little details they revealed, was just a giant concidence that they arrested her for the murder?

      None of you wonder why they released virtually nothing about the suspects or what happened?

      The police didn’t believe her story for the second, yet still HAD to reveal she alleged a rape, which they would do for no other crime they knew didn’t take place.

      • local

        No, Steve, your hunch wasn’t wrong – but it was just a hunch at first. Get it now?

        No, I didn’t wonder why they released almost nothing. It’s not unusual for police to keep the wraps on details, or not have them in the first place.

        You simply have no idea when the police changed their minds. None. Stop talking about something you just don’t know anything about.

  • DudeGuy
  • Steve


    According to WTOP, the suspect was transferred to that store due to suspicion of stealing.

    Why on earth would they do that, any other job you would get fired from if you are suspected of stealing. this must be the result of political correctness.

    • Idi Amin Dada

      this must be the result of political correctness.

      Huh? Can you explain your logic, please.

    • local

      It took you this long to throw racism into the mix, Steve?

    • Southeast Jerome

      Steve- dont you have a Sarah Palin book signing to be standing in line for?

    • local

      You don’t know anything about this person except what you’ve read, yet you assume you know exactly what was going on in the mind of the person who hired her?


      • Maria

        They can’t stop. It’s the internet.

      • local

        FYI this was a response to a deleted post.

  • Steve


    Prosecutor now says there was stolen merchandise in a bag, and that the victim confronted her, and the defendant killed her to cover up the theft.

  • Lou

    The only thing I still do not get is how they keep going with the story that the suspect called the victim and asked her to return to the store because she left her wallet. Unless the victim told somebody that she was going back to the store and why, that could be totally made up too. They seem pretty certain exactly what was said on a private phone call.

    • BoredHouseWife

      “…hey seem pretty certain exactly what was said on a private phone call.”

      They record everything citizen. Do you want to know more?

    • mehoo

      Maybe they have cellphone records, or simply looked in one or both of the phones involved at the recent call list. Not that hard.

  • Hattie McDaniel

    How did she tie herself up?

    • doug

      zip ties

  • Steve knows nothing

    Steve, you are yet another example of people commenting on a profession you know nothing about. Just because you watch CSI and other cop shows does not make you a cop, and does not qualify you to comment on cop procedures. Law enforcement does not release all details thru the media, nor are they required to, especially when it could possibly jeopardize an ongoing investigation. Montgomery County did not scare the community, the killer did. Instead of commending them for a job well done, you criticize them.

    • steve

      I have a feeling I know a lot more about criminal procedure than you do. And any other crime, you know, where the police BELIEVE the witness, they will release as much information as possible so that people know what to look for re: the suspects. Here they did none of that, because they knew the story was false, but HAD to release it since they MUST regard a rape allegation as true, even if they believe if to be false, unlike any other crime they believe to not have occurred.

      • BoredHouseWife

        Once upon a time, if a woman reported rape she was ridiculed, not believed, ostracized, made a pariah, and blamed. It takes too much discipline and energy to do the right thing. Humans tend to do the easy/selfish thing.

      • mehoo

        If you knew anything about criminal procedure (what, are you a criminal?) then you’d know that the police don’t instantly know everything about a case. They have to gather evidence, and that takes time. And they had a good reason to pretend to believe Norwood’s story for a while, to keep her from shutting up and lawyering up.

        Get over it.

  • MIchael H.

    According to the WTOP story, the prosecutor said that Norwood beat Murray throughout the store for as long as 20 minutes. Norwood is one scary person.

  • Tabby

    Being a thief is one thing–having so much RAGE inside as to be capable of this unbelievably violent crime is quite another.

  • JB

    Very ‘SAD’ situation for ALL famalies involved~!!! Such a loss to all. Pray for their strength.

    • Tabby

      Not sure what a “famalie” is but who knows what sort of people raised that monster. Very rare to just be born a bad seed.


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