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BREAKING NEWS — Police Investigate Murder-Suicide

by ARLnow.com July 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm 18,157 125 Comments

(Updated at 6:35 p.m.) Police are investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide at the Park Shirlington Apartments on the 4500 block of 31st Street South, near the Fairlington neighborhood.

Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck says it appears the man and woman, both 30-years-old, had some sort of relationship and lived together in the apartment where they were found. An adult female family member who also lived in the apartment found the bodies in a back bedroom and called 911 around 2:45 p.m.

One resident told ARLnow.com that the apartment was home to a couple with two children and a woman who also had a child. The children were all between the age of 7 and 9, she said.

“Nothing like this has happened here before,” said Cecilia Rodriguez. “I’ve lived here for 26 years and I’ve raised my kids here… It’s scary for me.”

Rodriguez said she believes a car police towed from the apartment’s parking lot belonged to the female half of the couple.

Police were seen taking items out of a dumpster near the apartment building, such as a rolled up rug and bags of trash. Initial reports suggests evidence might have been found in the dumpster.

The last homicide in Arlington County occurred on March 14, 2010, when a man was stabbed to death in the Lyon Park neighborhood.

  • novasteve

    So we’ve already double the homicide rate. year is barely half over.

    • drax

      Not doubled. The rate has gone up by infinity.

    • Arlingtonian

      Actually the rate has gone up from zero last year to two this year. So an increase of infinity.

      In any case, it’s still amazing that a large urban jurisdiction so close to Washington D.C. has such a low murder rate.

      • neutrino

        Which was the second homicide?

  • Fact checker

    This is not in Fairlington. This incident took place in Park Shirlington, which is located in Shirlington, not Fairlington.

    • arlcyclist

      Terrible news but you are correct, this Park Shirlington apartment building is at the top of the hill on the left side of 31st St. S, just before you cross into Fairlington. You see that reddish chain link fence in the background of the pics? That divides two very different socioeconomic communities.

      • Keeping it real

        Yeah that chain link fence means a lot…I bet the killer said oh if I kill someone’s 10 feet to the right I’m in fairlington and I can’t do that because it’s a socioeconomic community. It’s all the same, get over the minor details…they were killed in your community…accept it

        • b

          i think it’s kind of trivial to point out it’s not fairlington at this time… but arlcyclist is correct that there is a considerable difference between either side of the fence.

      • Kevin

        WOW! Could you sound more snotty and elitist? The red fence “divides two very different socioeconomic communities”. So nauseating!

        • Aaron

          Is there anything in life more important than one’s social status, except maybe one’s property value?

    • beatrixxkiddo

      yea NOT Fairlington….leave us alone, we are the ones without power for 4 days

      • ArlDon

        …because you can’t seem to figure out that your trees are growing all into your power lines….

  • really

    Sad. Prayers to the families.

  • chris

    Didn’t someone get stabbe to death on Columbia Pike about a week ago?

    • JohnB

      Not to death. Just injured.

  • fairlington dweller

    Park Shirlington is not located in the Fairlington community. Please revise your first sentence.

    • Noid

      Potato, potahto.

      • arlcyclist

        Is it though? That would be like saying Green Valley is the same as Shirlington. They may be adjacent to each other but for the most part they are worlds apart.

        • 1

          How does the socioeconomic status of the residents of the neighborhood have anything to do with the fact that police are finding dead bodies? Would you care more if it was two white DINKs who technically live in Fairlington than you would if it was two Salvadorean immigrants technically living in Shirlington?

          • Mary-Austin

            They don’t want crime to be associated with their neighborhood even thought you can almost see into the Fairlington homes from the crime scene.

          • bottom line

            It’s about property values, 1. That’s why they care.

          • John K.

            They should get a trolley line, in that case. OT – prayers for the friends and families of the deceased.

          • arlcyclist

            @ 1 where did I say anything about not being concerned about the dead bodies due to their location? Even though I think Fairlington and Park Shirlington are very different communities based on demographics that doesn’t make Park Shirlington a bad or dangerous place to live.

          • Laurie

            Or maybe “they” think that when you have 2 photos of the crime scene, and one of the photos is of a sign that says “Park Shirlington Apartments”, it shouldn’t be too hard to accurately report where the crimes occurred.

            It matters if you live in Park Shirlington and you think that it doesn’t affect you because the deaths occurred in another neighborhood where you don’t live. It’s alarming if you live in Fairlington and wonder if you know the people killed because it was reported that lived in the same immediate neighborhood.

            RIP, my neighbors. If this was a homicide, I hope that APD brings you justice.

    • KCDC


  • I Wonder

    Is there any connection to the burglary last week?

    BURGLARY, 07/17/12, 4500 block of S. 31 Street. On July 17 at 4:30 pm, unknown subject broke into the home and stole electronics.

  • Laurie

    This story needs to be corrected. Park Shirlington Apartments are not in Fairlington.

    • 14 years in the Arbor and counting

      No, your kids go to Abingdon, same neighborhood.

      • Laurie

        Sure, but Park Shirlington is not *inside* of Fairlington, which is what the earlier version of the article said. They are seperate enities and part of the greater Shirlington neighborhood.

  • novasteve

    Actually the killing of the old women by the taxicab was the last homicide. Even if it was completely accidental, it’s still a homicide. You might be right about murder though.

    • homicide count

      Makes sense the legal definition of Homicide is the act of a human killing another human, not always a crime ie. accidents. However I would like to point out that there have been murders/manslaughters in Arlington since the stabbing in 2010. All of those Fatal hit and runs are technically manslaughter (unless of course one of those guys purposely meant to run over one of the victims).

    • VaGurl

      actually its vehicular manslaughter….

      • CW

        Hey ARLnow – last I saw no charges on the taxi driver. Do you know if this has changed?

      • Cate

        Indeed, but vehicular manslaughter is a type of homicide. Any killing of one person by another is homicide, but “murder” and “manslaughter” are different types of homicide.

        • UA

          Agreed.. Old guy on a bike hitting the walker, not murder.

  • N

    chill out about not it not being in fairlington, yall. it’s probably 50 feet from the edge of fairlington, so this story probably concerns fairlington residents (including me).

  • Courthouse Res

    The fact police are more concerned about the name of the neighborhood than the fact that 2 people are dead! So typical.

    • tumblebum


  • 1

    Hey, did you guys know that this is not in Fairlington? I don’t think anyone has posted that on here yet.

    Cripes, scared this might hurt the prices of your townhouses or something? I walk this neighborhood every day, and it is all of 50 meters from the big sign welcoming me to Fairlington. What sounds like a double homicide happening near where you live is just as alarming no matter what you call the neighborhood.

    • SHLady

      This made me laugh so hard.

  • dont forget

    hey man we take pride of our location…

  • Laurie

    This article is reporting a very serious situation. The least they should do is get the location correct. Facts and accuracy matter.

  • bman

    there’s a couple busses that go by here

    • Bryce Harper

      They needed a street car.

  • ……….


    • arlcyclist

      Right, because journalistic accuracy should be thrown out the window depending on the severity of the situation. The fact is this didn’t occur in Fairlington so it shouldn’t say it did. It’s not that difficult to get it right or make a correction when you’ve been called out on a mistake.

      • SHLady

        It’s 50 feet away, what’s the big deal? Unless you are a Fairlington homeowner, which you obviously are.

  • ……….

    COPIED AND PASTED THIS :Police are investigating two suspicious deaths near the Fairlington neighborhood.


    • ^^^^

      It previously said that it happened in the neighborhood (prior to being updated at 4:30). The Twitter feed says: “BREAKING NEWS — Arlington police are investigating two suspicious deaths in the Fairlington neighborhood http://t.co/RfN9rng1“. In any case, I hope the find out what happened to the victims.

    • arlcyclist

      NICE TRY, but it was updated at 4:30 pm to change “in” to “near.”

      Here’s a screenshot of my Reader that still had the original version up… https://www.dropbox.com/lightbox/home/Public

      • Village Idiot

        Yeah, that link was really useful. Now if you would just share your email and password I could log in and see the original version for myself.

      • dweeb

        hey, mr cyclist, I would like to say that I think you’re worried about the wrong things here. and proving it with your screenshot means . .

        WAIT! it means you’re probably my new friend!!! Wanna hang out and play evony???

  • Vikram

    This is inside the boundaries of the Fairlington Civic Association. That’s why they say it is in Fairlington, just like saying the McDonald’s at George Mason and Wilson is in Bluemont, even though it is not inside of Bluemont Park.

    JFC, you people are not only crass, you’re ignorant too.

    • drax

      No, there’s a Bluemont neighborhood. It’s not just the park. “In Bluemont” means in the boundaries of that neighborhood.


      But this is nitpicking about nitpicking. It was changed in the article, and it’s over, everyone. And it doesn’t matter anyway. Two people died; let’s remember that.

      • Vikram

        It’s kind of odd how you back up my point, but think you are disagreeing. In fact, it’s typically odd and annoying when you do that.

  • South Awwlington

    I see your true colors shining through…

    Sorry about the victims.

    Otherwise for the comments.

  • Ashton Heights

    Wow, Fairlington sounds like a scary neighborhood. I’ll make sure never to visit there.

  • Northarlingtonian

    Snobbish in Fairlington, aren’t they?

    • arlcyclist

      Nah, we’re just trying to keep up with our North Arlington brethren.

  • well, regardless of the neighborhood, I still can’t figure out the exact location of the crime. Not that it matters, but it looks familiar.

    Sorry for the deaths. My guess it’s a murder/suicide. But just a guess . . .

    • arlcyclist

      It’s the last Park Shirlington building on the left side of the road heading up 31st St. S just before you cross into Fairlington. So basically a stone’s throw away.

  • Fariington Lovers

    You guys in Fairlington need to relax, your neighborhood looks like a housing project anyways.

    • arlcyclist

      That’s probably because it was built as a housing project by the gov’t. Still, not many housing projects with historic protection and 700 sq ft condos that go for a quarter mil.

      • Keeping it real

        That’s because yuppies like to pay way too much for crappy places that have metro buses screaming by every 30 mins and thrash thrown on the side of the road on thrash day.

        • Bryce Harper

          or Street Cars.

          • chris

            but their cars get towed to the same lot as the rest of us….

        • Huh?

          What an odd thing to think of as a problem. Most people like having access to mass transit and regular trash removal services.

        • drax

          Nice lithp.

        • Arlingtonian

          Thrash day? Are they having speed metal festivals there? Rock on!

  • CW

    I think that the responses to this article have hit a new low for ratio of usefulness to comment volume, and that is really, really saying something.

    • ^^^^^

      Thanks so much for your contribution to that ratio.

  • rob

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think Park Shirlington Apartments are in Fairlington. Could someone double-check?

    • ^^^^^

      Why bother? No one cares about details like that!

  • 22a rider

    Any indication whether the suspect is still on the loose?

    • Keeping it real

      Yeah he’s probably in fairlington because nobody would ever think of looking there…not in this socioeconomic community…right Arlcyclist

  • Cate
  • JamesE

    Wow, I can’t believe how violent and dangerous FAIRLINGTON is!

  • ^^^^^

    James, does your mom live in Fairlington?

    • JamesE

      No but she knows how to reply correctly

      • ^^^^^

        LOL! 🙂

  • ArlingtonWHSGirl

    It clearly says “near” the Fairlington Neighborhood. Not “in”.

    Two people were found dead, yet people are up in arms about the article inferring that this happened in Fairlington… Ridiculous.

    • narl

      That goes to show the attitude of some people in arlington. Snobs!

    • Dan

      It used to say “in Fairlington” and was later updated to say “near Fairlington”

      But I agree that this is a lot of fuss over a minor detail

    • Tabs

      Implying, not inferring.

      But yes, I agree. RIP.

  • dallynd

    What a ridiculous and crass commentary surrounding two young lives. I’m very sorry for the victim or victims.

    • not your bro

      no shortage of ridiculous and crass on here, unfortunately, and ditto.

  • Shirlie girl

    Those poor kids! There are some shady people at Park Shirlington. I live in Shirlington House & won’t walk past there alone at night. From the reviews online, they’re full of bugs & mice, too. They should tear them down and put in nicer apartments!

    • stephanie

      shutup and die.

  • Mc

    All these pointless comments, but no one comments about the odd statement:

    “Rodriguez said she believes a car police towed from the apartment’s parking lot belonged to the female half of the couple.”

    Was one of the dead a police officer?

    • drax

      Nothing odd about that statement. The police towed a car.

    • Tabs

      a car THAT police towed…

      • dweeb

        hey, tabs, wow, your grammar check is really adding a lot to the thread!!!

        want to play Wii with me???

    • R

      Huh?? It doesn’t say a police car was towed, it says a car police towed.

  • ColFor

    I’m sorry but these boards are filled with perhaps the most obnoxious Arlington residents around….it truly is painful taking a glance at some of these posts from time to time…no matter what the article is about.

    Prayers to the families affected by this tragedy.

  • Fairlingtonisgreat

    The loss of those two people is tragic. Let’s hope the children are with caring family members right now. Lets also hope that they don’t grow up to be like their parents. Anyone who lives in Fairlington has walked by Park Shirlington. In general, most of the residents appear to be responsible citizens and caring parents, but if you have lived long enough in the area you sadly expect something like this to occur there. It’s one of the few working class apartment complexes in the area and many crimes have occurred there. What is needed is more community policing in the area and a greater visible police presence in/around Park Shirlington. It’s hight time to make progress on crime in that area.

    • Laurie

      I really would not have expected something like this happening there. Maybe something petty like someone breaking a car window to get something valuable left in sight in a car while it was parked overnight, but not a murder-suicide. My condolences to the friends, family, and neighbors.

      • Fairlingtonisgreat

        But you’d agree that you’d expect more crime there? That’s my point. If you expect more crime to be in a certain area, lets try to do more as a community to mitigate it. It seems like common sense. For me, bottom line, Fairlington is extremely safe, day or night and I think most if not all residents of Fairlington will do our best to keep it that way. I can’t say that for other parts of this county, but I wish I could.

  • 14 years in the Arbor and counting

    Fairlington is safe? What about the three year old that was almost killed in Fairlington because of unsecured lamppost head failing on his skull?

    • Laurie

      When did that happen? Sounds like a freak accident.

  • Al

    Is it just me, or is a “murder suicide” like this not really an indication of a real crime “problem”? This could just as easily happen in any rich uber-low crime neighborhood. Don’t couples fight in Clarendon!?

  • neutrino

    Fairlington sucks anyway.

    • 14 years in the Arbor and counting

      Fairlington doesn’t suck if you like up close views of moving helicopters.

  • Jerry

    how come they didn’t just have that whole dumpster taken to their crime lab garage thing

  • Steve

    AL has made the smartest comment of all so far – a murder/suicide can happen ANYWHERE! It is not a crime that is in any way related to economic status. It is a crime of passion. Also -if the article would have said “In Fairlington”, I would have thought it was “in Fairlington”. When I hear “In the Fairlington Neighborhood”, I think in the area of Fairlington. And either way – this is all besides the point. As for Fairlington being safe…isn’t there still a python on the loose in there??

    • Python

      Sssssssssssadly, no.

  • South Awwlington

    WJLA was reporting that six people lived in the unit. According to Park Shirlington’s website, the largest unit is a 2BR.

    How does that work?

    • nom de guerre

      Three people per bedroom.

    • Goldfishy

      That’s not uncommon for immigrant and low income households. Sometimes each family has a room, or the adults take the bedrooms and the kids bunk in the living room. In high rent areas like NYC, middle class people try to turn a 2 bedroom into a three bedroom by partitioning off the dining room or part of the living room and calling it a bedroom.

      • South Awwlington

        In “managed” property like this, that’s amazing. Typically landlords ask how many adults/children/pets to prevent over occupancy. Not to mention the added burden on shared, non-metered resources such as sewer, water, trash collection, parking.

        • SHLady

          People lie to landlords all the time.

  • 14 years in the Arbor and counting

    Many in Fairlington convert the den in the basement to a bedroom, but in most cases that room doesn’t have a usable exit to the outside, so it legally can’t be used as a bedroom.

    • wut

      That must be where they let their servants live.

    • SHLady

      I am pretty sure the units in Park Shirlington don’t have dens.

      • nom de guerre

        But they have libraries, dressing rooms and butler pantries.

  • Bella Luna

    WOW! RIP to the victims and my condolences to the families affected. What is going on in Arlington!?

  • Monopoly Man

    That’s it, arlington is getting out of control.

    I am moving to Great Falls

  • bigdaddyva

    Enough squabbling. I’m concerned about the two children between the ages of 7 and 9 that were said to live there in the article. Where are they?

  • P. Monroe

    Many here adding to why people are my least favorite animals on the planet.

  • James

    This is sad. Those poor children :-/

  • ;(

    Women who passed away was my bestfriend’s sister 🙁 Burial was yesterday, she is now in a better place. R.I.P

    • Tabs

      Very sorry…


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