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DC police identify remains of 3 women found in SE

WASHINGTON — The D.C. police have identified the three women whose skeletal remains were found at an apartment building on Wayne Place, in Southeast, in April.

Police said the three sets of remains are of women who were all last seen in 2006.

At a news conference Wednesday, Dr. Francisco Diaz, the deputy chief medical examiner, announced that an FBI DNA analysis determined the bodies were those of Jewel King, 48; Verdell Jefferson, 41, and Dorothy Butts, 43.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said King lived in Southwest D.C. She was last seen on Galveston Street Southwest on April 7, 2006, and reported missing April 13. She had three daughters.

Jefferson was last seen May 1, 2006, on Wayne Place; she lived in the block where she was found. She was reported missing Aug. 1 of that year, Newsham said; she had a son.

Butts lived in Southeast D.C. and was last seen Christmas Day 2006 in the 3700 block of Martin Luther King Avenue Southeast, on her way to a store. She was reported missing the same day. She had a son.

“They were all believed to have lived in close proximity” to where their remains were found, Newsham said.

The first set of remains was discovered by construction workers in a crawl space of an apartment building in the 100 block of Wayne Place Southeast on April 25. Cadaver dogs found two more sets of remains outdoors on the property on April 28.

King and Jefferson were buried close together, and Newsham said they were likely killed in “one circumstance” and buried together. Jefferson died of blunt force trauma; King and Butts, of gunshot wounds.

Detectives will now talk to relatives of the victims and to people who lived or live in the area, to determine whether the three victims were linked in some way to the place they were found, or to each other. Newsham couldn’t say the victims were linked, but that “there’s a lot of information to suggest that they are.”

Police also want to hear from people who lived in the area, knew anyone who lived there, or worked as a delivery person in the area.

“There’s still a tremendous amount of work ahead of us,” Newsham said.

There are no persons of interest in the case yet, Newsham said, in part because the disappearances of the women were treated as missing-persons cases until the bodies were found.

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to a conviction, Newsham said; anyone with additional information should call the police at 202-727-9099 or text 50411. You don’t have to give your name.

“When we first located the remains, we got a fair amount of tips and information,” but that has “steadily petered out,” Newsham said. He hoped the identifications would help “jog people’s memories.”

Last week, Newsham said, police were digging nearby after “another dog hit in the area,” but no body was found.


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