Search for killer continues in Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- Quiet street, families enjoying dinner in a quaint restaurant, these are typical sights in Alexandria.

"This is our little haven that we come to and couldn't live anywhere else," said one Alexandria resident.

"This is a very family-centric area," said one woman. "In fact we are looking for a home here. I think this area is only getting better."

The normalcy of this small town was shaken last Thursday when police say Ruthanne Lodato was shot and killed when she answered her front door. Another woman, a caretaker for Lodato's elderly mother, was also shot. She has since been released from the hospital and is expected to be ok.

"This is a very stable community. People know one another, crime of this sort is unfathomable," says Barry Mudd, a long time neighbor of the Lodato.

Too close to home but not too far from where Ronald Kirby was shot and killed in November, this makes the third unsolved, seemingly random shooting in Alexandria. Nancy Dunning, a well known real estate agent and sheriff's wife was shot and killed in the back of her home in 2003. The mayor hasn't said the shootings are related, but he isn't ruling it out.

"You can't help think it. Hopefully it's not multiple people," says Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille.

Police have released a sketch of the person they believe is responsible. And although the mayor wants everyone to maintain a sense of normalcy, he also hopes people will take a good look at the sketch.

"We need people that think they saw something, thought they heard something, anything suspicious," says Euille.

So far, more than 300 tips have been called in. "I've had people call in and say oh I think that looks like someone, again, don't be afraid to call it in. You never know," says Euille.

Because that tip, no matter how small, could give this family the peace they so desperately need.

"This family does not deserve this, they are a wholesome, involved family. Positive things only," says Mudd.

Police have stepped up patrols in the neighborhood. The mayor says he was out knocking on doors here this afternoon letting people know they are safe and they are using all extra resources available, but also reminding them to be extra cognizant of their surroundings.

No reward has been set up but the mayor believes if no arrests are made soon, a fund will be set up.

Funeral arrangements for Lodato are still pending.


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