A Northern Virginia man sought by police as a "person of interest" in his wife's slaying has been found dead in a creek in Herndon, police said.
Police found the body of 32-year-old Fitsum Abrha Gebretatios lying in a creek near the 600 block of Center Street around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday while they were searching for clues relating to the slaying of Gebretatios's wife, 35-year-old Simret Tekle Woldetensae. A medical examiner is performing an autopsy to determine his cause of death.
Police were originally called to the Center Street location after midnight on Wednesday, where they found Woldetensae's body, apparently run over by a vehicle, lying in the parking lot of the couple's condominium home. Woldetensae was pronounced dead on the scene.
A short distance from the parking lot, a Toyota Camry belonging to Gebretatios was found smashed into a parked car. The driver of the Camry, whom authorities believe to be Gebretatios, fled from the scene of the crash, said Herndon police spokesman Lt. Ron Thunman.
Describing the creek where police found Gebretatios, Thunman said, "We don't know how he ended up there but it's a very short distance -- though an unusual route to take -- from where the car was found."
"We don't know if he went down there after the accident or soon thereafter," he added.
Police found no weapons on the scene, but the force of the crash could have been enough to kill Gebretatios, Thunman said.
"He had just been involved in a really violent collision," he said. "That car ran head-on into a parked vehicle with such force that it ran that car into two others." The other cars involved in the crash were parallel-parked on Center Street. No one else was injured.
Police found three young children in the couple's home nearby, who were turned over to Child Protective Services.