Mysteries continue in murder of former Alexandria sheriff's wife - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Mysteries continue in murder of former Alexandria sheriff's wife

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Nancy Dunning Nancy Dunning
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -

Realtor Nancy Dunning was shot to death ten years ago inside her home in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. No one has ever been arrested in connection with the murder, and there are many mysteries surrounding the case.

The victim was the long-time wife of (then) Alexandria Sheriff Jim Dunning, who, eleven months after her death, took a medical leave, then retired, moved to South Carolina, and later died of natural causes.

Nancy Dunning, 56, had shopped at the Target store at nearby Potomac Yards the morning of her murder. Police released photos from a security video of a man in the store whom they wanted to question. He has never been identified.

A night or two before the murder, nearby neighbor Roger Charles believes he heard a male voice shouting in the Dunning's backyard. Charles, a retired Marine, says the voice was so loud and so angry, he got up to look out the window: “It was just the loudness of it, the time of it -- 10:30 at night -- you know, in December. Who's out the back [door] at 10:30 at night?"

Alexandria police are now asking the public to think back to the time of Nancy Dunning's murder, and consider calling them with any material information, even if it seems insignificant.

Reporters asked the current chief of police if the late Sheriff Dunning had been ruled out as a suspect in the murder of his wife. The chief's answer was cautious, and he paused before answering at all.

"Jim Dunning's death did not resolve this case," replied Chief Earl Cook of the Alexandria Police Department. "Naturally, if you have a homicide, you look at all people, including family members, friends, associates. And so Mr. Dunning's death is only one instance in this journey we're on, [a journey] to try and find the suspect who actually did this. So, we continue."

Friends and neighbors have put together a $100,000 reward fund for information leading to a conviction in the case. No one has claimed the money. Police say the murder of Nancy Dunning remains an open case.

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