This afternoon Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier held a press conference where she suggested that 66-year-old Denver tourist Gary Dederichs—who was found lying in a Petworth alley and died of head trauma—may have been one victim in a string of attacks.
There were two more victims the next day with similar injuries. Both are still alive, but, Lanier said at the presser, “It’s been very difficult to get information from the victims due to the nature of their injuries.”
In a release, Lanier writes: “Preliminarily it appears that each victim was likely alone when they were suddenly struck in the head by some sort of blunt object. The assaults seem to have occurred without provocation and lacked any specific motive such as robbery.”
Full letter from Lanier after the jump:
Within the past 48 hours there have been 3 separate incidents in which individuals have been assaulted and suffered head trauma. While we have not definitively linked these incidents there are several similarities that give cause to consider that possibility.
Beginning with the homicide that occurred on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at approximately 6:00 PM: In this case 66 year old Gary Dederichs was found unconscious in the rear of the 800 block of Emerson Street, NW suffering from head trauma.
Approximately 9 hours later, on Wednesday, April 25th at 3:00 AM, a 53 year old male, was found unconscious in the roadway in the 4800 block of Georgia Avenue. Initially it was believed that this subject may have been struck by a car; however, after a medical examination it appears that his only injuries were trauma to the head. The injuries appear to have been caused by some sort of blunt object. That individual is currently still hospitalized in critical condition.
Lastly, just 26 hours after the first incident, on Wednesday, April 25, at approximately 8:40 PM, an adult female was assaulted while in the 5600 block of 9thStreet, NW. The preliminary investigation has revealed that she was also struck in the head by a blunt object. This victim also suffered serious head trauma and remains hospitalized.
All three of these incidents occurred within a 10 block radius just along the Georgia Avenue corridor in Northwest.
It appears that all three of the victims were walking alone at the time of the attack.
All three of the victims suffered severe blunt force trauma to the head.
Preliminarily it appears that each victim was likely alone when they were suddenly struck in the head by some sort of blunt object.
The assaults seem to have occurred without provocation and lacked any specific motive such as robbery.
Anyone who may have been in the area or lives in the area and may have seen someone or something suspicious is encouraged to call us on 202-727-9099.
Obviously, until we get more information we are asking that our residents assist as our eyes and ears and report anything suspicious and when possible avoid walking alone.