Huge turnout for Lodato funeral - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Huge turnout for Lodato funeral

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. - About a thousand people turned out for the funeral of Ruthanne Lodato, Saturday, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria.  The 59-year-old music teacher was gunned down in the doorway of her home on February 5th.  Another woman, a caretaker, was seriously wounded, but has survived.

Despite widespread distribution of an artist's sketch of the gunman, he has not yet been identified or located.   

Lodato lived her whole life on Ridge Road, in Alexandria, growing up on that street, and later buying a home there with her husband.  

At the funeral, the murder victim was remembered as the "heart and soul" of her high school class, and as the music teacher for hundreds of local children.  

A message from the family (read by a neighbor) urged the gathered mourners to "keep her music present in your lives."  

The priest who celebrated the funeral mass did not shy away from discussing the seemingly-inexplicable violence that took the life of Ruthanne Lodato.  Father John Cregan conceded there is "darkness and evil" in the world, but reminded the gathered mourners that Ruthanne Lodato was a believer in Christianity, and her untimely death marks the "beginning of eternal happiness" with God.

Police in Alexandria have told reporters that the sketch has  generated over 300 leads.  A spokeswoman for the department says investigators are still "actively working" the case.

Ruthanne Lodato is survived by her husband and three daughters.

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