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Cold case: Arlington night manager's killing remains a mystery 20 years later

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Cold Case,Arlington

Sanford Swift, a night manager of the Roy Rogers restaurant in Arlington, had let the last of the workers go shortly before his killer appeared.

He was found in his office by an employee coming in for the morning shift on July 11, 1992. He had been fatally stabbed in the head, and the store had been robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash.

More than two decades later, the Roy Rogers at 5222 Lee Highway is now a bank branch and Swift's death remains one of the thousands of cold-case murders in the Washington area.

But police have some clues in this one. The entire restaurant was neat and orderly except for the office, which was were the receipts for the night were counted. The money was missing. Police believe the killer either hid in the fast-food restaurant during its closing or was let in by Swift after hours and went into the back office.

The killer was seen about 1 a.m. running from the restaurant holding a large Roy Rogers bag. A witness saw the man get into a white, two-door Toyota Corolla with District plates, and head east on Lee Highway.

The killer then was described as a slender, medium-build black man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall. He has a scar on his lower right jaw.

At the time of the slaying, the assailant was in his late 20s with a mustache and goatee and short hair.

Anyone with information on Swift's slaying is encouraged to call the Arlington County Police Tip Line at 703-228-4242 or Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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