FBI joins investigation of Alexandria homicide

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- The FBI is now on the case of a woman shot to death at her Alexandria home on Thursday.

Police said they are getting a flood of calls about gray-haired men who have any type of resemblance to the sketch of the suspect.

Alexandria police technicians removed the front door, sealed it up and took it for possible clues on Monday. The killer knocked on the door before he shot Ruthanne Lodato that morning.

"Dreadful shame that something like this would happen to a very loving woman," Vernal Timmons said.

For at least five minutes, this man, perhaps a family member, stood silently staring at the home, and the doorway, now covered with plywood.

"She was a nice lady. I feel really sad for her family," Amy Barker said, whose three children took music lessons from Lodato. Now, like many of her neighbors, she is nervous.

"I've been nervous and we got a new peephole as I'm sure lot of people have. I feel anxious about it," Barker said.

Police were kept busy chasing down possibly sightings of the suspect. They also handed out flyers with the sketch of a balding white man with a full gray beard.

"They ought to pick up any one who resembles this," Timmons said as he brushed his balding, gray head. He said he was just "cleared" by police.

Alexandria Police Spokeswoman Crystal Nosal explained that, "It's not racial profiling. It is the description of the suspect given to us by a witness."

Two other murders of well-known people in Alexandria also remain unsolved. Ten years ago, the wife of Sheriff Dunning was shot to death in her home, and this past November, transportation official Ron Kirby was also killed in his home. Residents fear a serial killer may be responsible.

Police say they will look at at any possible connection between the other murders.

The widow of Ron Kirby, Anne Hayes, told WUSA9 that she has never seen a man resembling the sketch and she does not think the murders are connected.

The North Ridge Citizens Association is holding a community meeting Monday evening at 7:30 at the Beverly Hills Comunity United Methodist Church at 3512 Old Dominion Blvd. The NRCA says there will be brief comments and a moment of silence in honor of Ruthanne Lodato.

Alexandria Deputy Police Chief Spruill and Police Public Information Officer Nosal will then provide an update on the investigation, answer questions from the neighbors, take suggestions and offer ideas about being safe in the neighborhood.


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