UPDATED: Police investigate West End homicide

By Erich Wagner (File photo)

Updated 5:12 p.m. July 7

Detectives are investigating the killing of a woman in her home last week on the West End, Alexandria police said.

Around 11:30 a.m. July 4, police responded to a report of an unresponsive woman at a home along the 5600 block of Derby Court. When officers arrived, they found 43-year-old Asabech Abayneh dead in her apartment, said Crystal Nosal, an Alexandria Police Department spokeswoman.

Nosal said that although investigators could not determine the cause of death at the scene, Abayneh’s death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy Saturday morning. Officials with the Northern Virginia Office of the Medical Examiner said Monday afternoon that the autopsy determined Abayneh was strangled to death.

Abayneh’s death marks the third slaying in Alexandria this year. Julio Caesar Urrutia-Erazo, died following a shooting in Arlandria last month, and piano teacher Ruthann Lodato was shot to death in her North Ridge home in February. Both cases remain unsolved.

Police are encouraging anyone with information about the latest killing, the victim or her activities over the last several weeks to call detective Loren King at 703-746-6689.

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