Police: Severance is 'primary focus' in Alexandria murder invest - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Police: Severance is 'primary focus' in Alexandria murder investigations

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Charles Severance Charles Severance
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -

Alexandria's police chief says "unique things" tie Charles Severance to a string of murder cases stretching back the last eleven years. And a departmental statement says the agency has "narrowed the scope of the investigations to Charles Severance as its primary focus."

Chief Earl Cook declined to elaborate on what "unique things" tie Severance to the shooting murders of Nancy Dunning, Ron Kirby, and Ruthanne Lodato.

Chief Cook declined to characterize Severance as a "suspect" because, he said, the word suspect implies an arrest is imminent, which the chief said is not the case.

The 53-year-old Severance is currently in custody in Loudoun County on an unrelated gun charge.

Alexandria's police chief says it was the artist's sketch of the suspect involved in the third murder that led investigators to Severance.

"Mr. Severance just happened to be one of those hundreds [of men identified by tipsters],” Cook said.

For about the last three years, Severance lived in Ashburn, Va., at the house of his girlfriend, Linda Robra. She was identified in court Wednesday as a former flight attendant who now sells real estate and works as a substitute teacher.

Robra testified she met Severance at a swing dance and he moved into her house within a month of that meeting.

Two .22 caliber revolvers mysteriously disappeared from Robra's Ashburn house. And spent .22 caliber cartridges were found in the garage, according to an Alexandria detective.

Based on his line of questioning, at the Wednesday hearing on the gun charge, it's clear Severance's defense attorney, Edward Ungvarsky, believes police have already tested those cartridges and Severance's DNA is not on the shell casings.

The gun charge against Severance is headed for grand jury consideration next month. To date, no charges -- against anyone -- have been filed in connection with the Alexandria murders.

Those investigations remain active, said Chief Cook.


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