More than a thousand gather for music teacher's funeral

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- People came together to say goodbye to a beloved Alexandria music teacher who was murdered at her home.

More than a thousand people gathered, Saturday, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church for 59-year-old Ruthanne Giammittorio Lodato. She was shot and killed when she opened the door to her home when a stranger knocked at her door, a week and a half ago.

Tears filled the church. Friends, family and all walks of life who were touched by Lodato came to say their good byes.

The church could hardly accommodate the huge crowd, hundreds stood outside of the sanctuary to pay their respects.

"I've only known her for a short period of time but she was the music teacher for my son and he loved her in every way," says Jaime Swanson.

As mourners gathered at Lodato's church several blocks away, police are still searching for her killer, the man who knocked on her door and shot her.

The yellow tape has been torn down at her home on Ridge Road Drive but it remains a mystery as to who and why anyone would want to hurt such a beloved and talented fixture in Alexandria.

Leslie Gable says, "The loss is tremendous, not just to the family but to the community. We are going to miss her."


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