Medical examiner: D.C. official beaten, strangled

Medical examiner: D.C. official beaten, strangled

By Erich Wagner (File Photo)

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Friday ruled the high-ranking D.C. Department of Corrections official found dead in Alexandria was beaten and strangled to death.

Agency spokesman Arkuie Williams said an autopsy determined that Carolyn Cross, 64, died from a combination of blunt force trauma, strangulation and suffocation. Cross, deputy director of the D.C. agency, was found dead in her Seminary Hill home Sunday morning.

Alexandria police already have a suspect in custody — 29-year-old Dawit Seyoum, also of Alexandria — and charged him with first-degree murder. Police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said they are looking into possible links between Seyoum and other unsolved crimes in the city, like the strangling of Asabech Abayneh in her home on July 4.

“Ever since Sunday, we’ve been look at any connections between him and other crimes,” she said. “But I would caution against drawing too many conclusions simply because the [medical examiner] listed strangulation as a cause in each death. The cases are very different.”

The similarities in the causes of death in the cases comes just days after police announced that a grand jury indicted former fringe mayoral candidate Charles Severance in connection with a trio of shootings in the city.

Police are still investigating the unsolved murders of Julio Caesar Urrutia-Erazo, shot to death in Arlandria in June, and Bradley Bostick, who was killed in a West End apartment complex last year.