DC police: Suspect in dog walker’s death was found in minutes

Video and a blood trail allowed D.C. police to quickly find a suspect in the stabbing of a dog walker in Northwest on Tuesday night.

Margery Magill, 27, of Northwest, was walking a dog across from the MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Irving Street at about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday when she was stabbed multiple times. Eliyas Aregahegne, 24, of Northwest was found minutes later in his nearby apartment, and has been charged with felony first-degree murder.

Court documents say that the police saw home surveillance video of Magill walking a dog on Irving Street, then a man following her. She can be heard screaming in the video, the documents said; then the man is seen running away in the direction from where he came, clutching something.

Detectives on the scene found a trail of blood that they followed to an apartment building on Columbia Road Northwest, and then to an apartment door, the documents said. The police said Aregahane’s father let them in, and they found Aregahegne sitting on a couch, watching TV with a cut on his hand.

Aregahegne went voluntarily to a police station, where his account of how he got the cut on his finger — and what he’d been doing that afternoon and evening — changed repeatedly, the documents said. During questioning, he said, among other things, “I don’t remember stabbing her” and “I don’t think I stabbed her.”

He later said that he was at the scene of Magill’s death and that “a dark force was speaking to him from inside his head,” police said. He told them “things got out of hand.”

When officers got a search warrant for the apartment, they found a bloody T-shirt that looked like the one the man on the video had been wearing; shoes with blood on them; and an empty, opened package for a knife.

Aregahegne, who was still in police custody, was placed under arrest the next day.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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