Police Identify Body Found on Bethesda Row
A body was found Saturday morning inside a local retail store.
Update, March 13 11:15 a.m.: Police are now identifying the homicide victim as Jayna Troxel Murray, 30, of the 1000 block of Arlington Boulevard in Arlington, Va.
Update, March 12 5:30 p.m.: The surviving victim of the Lululemon Athletica attack was bound and injured when she was discovered inside the store this morning, according to a Montgomery County police press release. The surviving victim is 27, and the victim who was killed was 30, according to the release.
Police said that the two employees left after they closed the store around 9 p.m. One of the employees then realized she had left something inside the store and didn't have the means to get back inside. She called the other employee, who returned and unlocked the store. They both went back inside the store.
It was sometime after that two men entered the store, wearing masks and gloves, and the assault and homicide happened, according to police. There was also a robbery of commercial proceeds.
Because the men were wearing masks, their race wasn't known. Police are describing one of the men as 6 feet tall, and the other a little over 5 feet, 3 inches tall. They didn't have a more detailed description.
Update, 3:00 p.m.: The surviving victim of the attack inside high-end Bethesda Row athletic retail store Lululemon Athletica was sexually assaulted, according to Montgomery County police. Another female victim was found dead, and police are investigating her death as a homicide, according to Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesman.
Police have not released the identities of the victims of the attack, both female employees. Starks said police believed the attack began as a robbery and then escalated into at least one sexual assault and a homicide. Police were unsure whether the victim who was killed was also sexually assaulted.
Both victims were in their late 20s or early 30s.
Starks said police responded this morning around 8:12 a.m. A female employee who arrived to open the store noticed the store in disarray and heard noises coming from the back of the store. The female employee left the store and summoned help from a male passerby, Starks said. The man discovered either the deceased or the injured victim, or both, towards the back of the store. Starks said it’s believed the noises the employee who was opening the store heard was the injured victim.
Starks said there were two suspects, believed to be men. Police didn’t immediately have a description of the suspects, but Starks said the two were concealing their identities with masks and gloves. It wasn’t yet known whether the store has surveillance cameras.
Police said there was no sign of forced entry and they didn’t believe the front door of the building had been locked at the time of the attack. Police said the store closed at 9 p.m., and they believed the attack may have happened sometime Friday evening after the store was closed but while the two female employees were still inside.
Starks said the employee who was sexually assaulted was in the hospital with serious but non-life threatening injures, and that police were beginning to talk to her to piece together what happened. “We’re relying a lot on this one person who has been through hell,” Starks said.
Starks asked anyone who might have seen or heard something to come forward. “Normally this is an area of the county where this type of crime doesn’t occur,” Starks said. “Part of the reason is there’s so much traffic — both on vehicle and on foot.”
Starks urged anyone with information to call 240-773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous.
Update, 12:05 p.m.: At 8:12 a.m., police were called to Lululemon Athletica at 4856 Bethesda Ave. where they found one deceased female employee in her 20s or 30s at the rear of the store, according to Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesman.
A second female employee, also in her 20s or 30s, was also found at the rear of the store, Starks said. She was taken to a local hospital.
"We're investigating this as a homicide and an assault," Starks said. "It's a very busy part of the county ... downtown Bethesda. We're looking for witnesses."
Starks added that due to the amount of foot traffic that it's possible that someone may have seen something.
Anyone who saw or heard anything unusual at or near the store is asked to call the police's Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. Those who wish to remain anonymous should call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Original post: A body was found inside Lululemon Athletica on Bethesda Row this morning, according to a tip from a Patch reader who had stopped by the Apple store on Bethesda Avenue.
Stay tuned to Patch for additional details and photos.