Police chief, mayor address questions on Alexandria murder case - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Police chief, mayor address questions on Alexandria murder case at community meeting

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Ruthanne Lodato (Family photo) Ruthanne Lodato (Family photo)
Ruthanne Lodato Ruthanne Lodato
The suspect is described as an older white male, balding with gray hair, and a full beard (Image: Alexandria Police Department) The suspect is described as an older white male, balding with gray hair, and a full beard (Image: Alexandria Police Department)
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -

Alexandria community members held a moment of silence Monday in honor of 59-year-old Ruthanne Lodato, four nights after the beloved music teacher was shot and killed at the front door of her home.

Police Chief Earl Cook and Mayor Bill Euille addressed the crowd at the Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church and answered questions.

When asked whether the gunman spoke to Lodato or her mother's caregiver before shooting the two women, Chief Cook replied that it is part of the investigation and he cannot comment. He says investigators are also looking into whether the suspect took off on foot or by car.

The surviving victim is said to be recovering and has been questioned by police.

Many at the community meeting wanted to know about any possible links to the shooting death of Ron Kirby in Alexandria's Rosemont neighborhood last November or the unsolved murder of Nancy Dunning more than a decade ago in Del Ray.

“We don’t have case facts or forensics to say at this time that it has anything to do or that they’re all combined,” said Chief Cook. “We have to do that as a matter of course in our investigation.”

The FBI and state police are now helping in the Lodato murder mystery.

Despite hundreds of tips and at least one false-sighting, the man depicted in a composite sketch released by police remains on the loose. Cook says artists are working on an updated sketch, possibly excluding facial hair, in case the suspect has changed his appearance.

“I carry the profile myself in my pocket, and I see folks, I take it out, look at it, and I actually walk up to them and look them over to make sure,” said Mayor Euille.

Alexandria police detectives were back at Lodato's home on Monday. The home on Ridge Road Drive is still a guarded crime scene. The front door is gone and has been taken in as potential evidence.

"They're holding onto the house and still removing evidence when they believe it's necessary," said Alexandria Police spokesperson Crystal Nosal. "We don't want to turn it over too quickly to the family and possibly miss something that we need."

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