Bethesda Murder, Sex Assault Investigation Continues

4:01 PM, Mar 14, 2011   |    comments
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BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA) -- A gruesome homicide inside an upscale Bethesda Row shopping complex has police searching for two masked men.

Jayna Murray, 30, was killed and another woman was sexually assaulted in Lululemon Athletica, a yoga clothing store where fitness classes are also facilitated. Police think the attack began as a robbery sometime Friday night after closing, which is 9 p.m.

Two men wearing masks and gloves entered through an open door, said Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesman.   

The women were found around 8 a.m. on Saturday when another female employee arrived for work.  She noticed there had been a disturbance and could hear noises in the back of the store.  She retreated through the front door and asked a male bystander to help.

That man went inside and then also retreated to call police. Police found the survivor bound to a chair by some sort of cord in the back and her co-worker dead. 

By 3 p.m. on Saturday, police were still collecting evidence in the front of the store and had yet to make their way to the back where the body of the woman killed was located, said Starks.  Clean up crews wore rubber boots, which was a sign of a gruesome scene inside the store.

The 27-year-old woman who survived the sexual assault is in serious condition in the hospital but is expected to live.  

Investigators are still looking into how the two victims' disappearance could not have been discovered all night long.  Starks said the survivor was "incapacitated" and could not escape. 

"I'm still not believing this is happening," said Dawn Maynard, a fitness instructor and Lululemon Ambassador.  "I know all the women in this store.  They are so independent, so fantastic."

Maynard and other shoppers on Bethesda Row said many storefronts will most likely take more precautions following this case.

"It's such a nice, pet-friendly, children-friendly place at night," said Maynard, calling it a wake up call.

Montgomery County police confirmed Monday that Murray was sexually assaulted before she was skilled.

Lululemon Athletica donated $125,000 to Crime Solvers of Montgomery County for more information in this case. Federal Realty in Bethesda also offered a $10,000 reward, along with a $1,000 reward from Crime Solvers.

A tip can be submitted anonymously to 1-866-411-TIPS.


 

STATEMENT FROM JAYNA MURRAY'S PARENTS:

"The family of Jayna Murray greatly appreciates the many expressions of concern from the community. They currently wish to privately grieve their tremendous loss and are asking for the media's cooperation in respecting their privacy during this traumatic time."

 

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