Corrina Mehiel had dinner with colleagues Sunday night. She was scheduled to leave D.C. and return to North Carolina Monday morning.
“She said don’t worry I’m not going to leave like this because I’ll come back and see you,” recalled Mel Chin, visiting professor at GW’s Corcoran School of Art and Design.
But when Chin did not hear from Mehiel, he went to see her; stopping by the basement apartment on 14th Street, NE where friends who just moved out two weeks ago let her stay.
“She could have stayed with anybody in D.C. who knew her I felt but she preferred to be independent and I respected that,” he said.
There police say the 34-year-old was discovered bound and stabbed to death, her blue Toyota Prius with Kentucky Tag 711-KMY stolen, a possible suspect spotted at a Beltsville convenience store.
“Corrina was a feminist she wanted to end to violence against women. She was committed to fairness and justice, and always fought for the rights of others,” Chin said. “For example, she’d be the first to point out that victims of violence in D.C. are disproportionately people of color.”
We spoke via FaceTime to Mehiel’s mentor at the University of Cincinnati where she served as an adjunct professor. Joe Girondola said Mehiel’s death is being felt around the globe and with the many people whom she shared her art, her passion, her warmth, and generosity.
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“I am still now in disbelief many people in Cincinnati have come up to I and all I can do is break down in tears. She was a great mentor to many, “he said. “She lost her mother at a young age and I think that led to her strength. She will never be forgotten.”
“To the person who did this to her you are too late - you failed,” said Chin. “Corrina Mehiel was already liberated and emboldened so many people to fight for their beliefs. Her spirit will continue.”
Though the suspect was spotted in Beltsville and may be traveling, DC police are the sole agency on this case and are not working with regional partners or the FBI. They continue to seek the public’s help and are offering a reward of up to $25,000.