Oakton neighborhood pond search connected to Alexandria murder i - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Oakton neighborhood pond search connected to Alexandria murder investigation

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Ruthanne Lodato (Family photo) Ruthanne Lodato (Family photo)
Charles Severance in a Wheeling, W.Va. courtroom on March 17, 2014 Charles Severance in a Wheeling, W.Va. courtroom on March 17, 2014
OAKTON, Va. -

Federal agents were out in Oakton, Va., on Wednesday following a new lead in one of three unsolved murder investigations from Alexandria.

Ruthanne Lodato was shot and killed in her Alexandria home back in February. Since then, police have only been able to name a possible person of interest connected to her murder.

Investigators wrapped up two days of work in the Oakton neighborhood. Sources tell FOX 5 that teams of federal agents were searching a neighborhood pond. But officials are not saying what they were looking for.

"This morning when I was trying to walk down by the lake and through the woods with the dog here, we were not able to get through because there was police tape,” said resident John Poulsen. “And when we inquired with some of the guys down there, they didn't want to tell us what they were doing and why they were in the lake.”

Were police and the FBI searching for a murder weapon or some other evidence in February's unsolved murder of Alexandria music teacher Ruthanne Lodato?

Relatives of the prime suspect Charles Severance happen to own a house there near the pond.

Severance remains in jail in Wheeling, W.Va., awaiting extradition to Loudoun County. He is wanted on a gun charge in Loudoun.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille has called Severance a possible suspect in three unsolved murders that Alexandria police said are linked. The murders of Lodato, transportation official Ron Kirby last November, and Nancy Dunning ten years ago. All three shot to death inside their homes in the middle of the day.

Nobody was home when we knocked on the door Wednesday afternoon. It was a tip from Poulsen that alerted us to the police activity here.

"We're a fairly close-knit neighborhood,” said Poulsen. “Everybody seems to know everybody, so it's a little unnerving things are happening and you don't get to know what is happening.”

One of the workers at a nearby home said the FBI wanted to put a camera down a well on the property.

Police and the FBI said they were working on the unsolved murder investigation here, but won't tell us what they were looking for.


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