UPDATED: D.C. corrections official killed in Seminary Hill

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UPDATED: D.C. corrections official killed in Seminary Hill
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By Erich Wagner (File photo)

Updated 1:06 p.m. September 8

A high-ranking D.C. corrections official was found slain in her Seminary Hill home Sunday morning.

Around 8:12 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to the 4800 block of Kenmore Avenue to assist paramedics already at the scene. They found 64-year-old Carolyn Cross, deputy director for the D.C. Department of Corrections, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

By Sunday night, they announced they already had a suspect in custody: Dawit Seyoum, 29, of Alexandria, who is charged with first degree murder and is being held without bond. Alexandria Police Department spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said investigators do not believe the killing was related to her occupation.

“There’s no sign that the victim knew the suspect,” Nosal said.

Police were still awaiting the results of an autopsy Monday morning.

In a statement, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray praised Cross’ work to reform her agency, where she worked for more than 20 years.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Cross’ loved ones and with her colleagues at [the Department of Corrections],” Gray said. “Carolyn Cross was a top-notch professional who, in recent years, helped transform the Department of Corrections into a nationally accredited agency. This is a terrible loss for the Department and for the District.”

Sunday’s slaying marks the fourth homicide in Alexandria this year. On July 4, Asabech Abayneh, 43, was found strangled to death in her home.

Julio Caesar Urrutia-Erazo, died following a shooting in Arlandria in June, and piano teacher Ruthann Lodato was shot to death in her North Ridge home in February. All three cases remain unsolved.

Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call detective Michael Kochis at 703-746-6285.
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